On Sunday, comedy icon Chris Rock revealed via Twitter that he has tested positive for COVID-19. Rock didn’t comment on his condition outside of saying, “trust me, you don’t want this, but he did use his announcement to urge others to get vaccinated, which is a welcome departure from the multitude of Black celebrities that have taken to social media and other platforms to spread anti-vaxxer misinformation recently.
CNN noted that during a May episode of The Tonight Show, Rock joked with host Jimmy Fallon about how he “skipped the line” to get vaccinated using his star status.
“I used my celebrity, Jimmy,” he said. “I didn’t care. I was like, ‘Hey, step aside Betty White, step aside old people, Judge Judy.'”
Some Twitter users who clearly don’t understand how vaccines work or follow what medical experts have been saying replied to Rock’s tweet either asking him why he wasn’t vaccinated or why he’s still recommending it even though it didn’t prevent him from getting infected.
Plenty of studies have shown that, while vaccinated people can still contract the virus, it is the unvaccinated who overwhelmingly represent those dying of COVID-19 or suffering serious symptoms.
Fortunately, there were also plenty of people who didn’t use Rock’s announcement as an opportunity to display their own ignorance, and some simply wished him a speedy recovery.
Resistance to the COVID-19 vaccine has revealed itself a serious force to be reckoned with during the pandemic, including and especially last week unintended confirmation that rapper Nicki Minaj has no intentions to get vaccinated because — brace yourselves — her cousin’s friend took the vaccine and purportedly suffered “swollen testicles” as a result.
She and other influential people in their respective communities — including at least five right-wing talk radio hosts (and counting) who have died from COVID-19 after downplaying the virus and vaccines as hoaxes — are the latest instances of proof that conspiracy theories, falsehoods and misinformation can thrive despite the wide availability of informational resources that debunk such conjecture.
By all intents and purposes, the best bet is to get yourselves vaccinated, people. Despite the world opening back up again, this pandemic is not over and we all need to do our parts in keeping the general public safe.
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