Actor Matthew McConaughey, a Lone Star State native, said he is “dumbfounded” by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) decision to lift Texas’s mask mandate, categorizing face coverings as nothing more than a “small inconvenience” that will lead to “more freedom” in the future.
“My reaction to that is, I was a little dumbfounded by the decision,” the Gentleman star said of Abbott’s decision during a Wednesday appearance on CBS This Morning. “I understand ‘go back to work.’ What I did not understand was ‘pull the mask mandate.'”
“It’s not the mask we’re afraid of, c’mon. It’s the word ‘mandate.’ Let’s not let the word ‘mandate’ get in the way of practical use of this little tool called a mask. It’s just a small inconvenience today for more freedom tomorrow,” McConaughey continued.
Academy Award winner Matthew @McConaughey is on a mission to help fellow Texans after last month's massive storm.
This Sunday, he and his wife are hosting #WereTexas — a virtual benefit to help the state rebuild and assist those affected.
McConaughey joins us to discuss more. pic.twitter.com/GoyQF5zddH
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 17, 2021
Despite Texas following other states, such as Florida, in allowing residents to choose whether to wear a mask, McConaughey implored people across the globe to continue doing so.
“If you have the choice, keep masking up. It’s proven to help. We don’t have much longer in this, we’ll get through this. Thank you,” the the Failure to Launch star said.
While McConaughey expressed hope that the country does not have “much longer” in the pandemic, public health officials and some lawmakers have not offered the same view, routinely criticizing states that have moved to reopen. President Biden this week modified his call for Americans to wear masks for 100 days, begging local leaders to urge the population to continue to wear masks until everyone is vaccinated.
“So I urge — I urge all local docs and — and ministers and priests and every — to talk about why — why it’s important to get it — to get that vaccine, and even after that, until everyone is in fact vaccinated, to wear this mask,” Biden said during Monday’s White House event.
Biden: "I urge all local docs and ministers and priests to talk about why it’s important to get that vaccine. And even after that, until everyone is in fact vaccinated, to wear this mask.” pic.twitter.com/7lyDkCRLSV
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) March 15, 2021
Notably, Texas, which lifted its mask mandate earlier this month, has reported fewer new cases of the Chinese coronavirus than New York State, which continues to have a mask mandate in place. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) March 17 data, Texas reported 108.5 new cases of the virus per 100,000 in the last seven days. CDC data separates New York City’s data from the rest of the Empire State. Still New York State has reported 202.5 new cases per 100,000 in the last seven days alone. Separately, New York City has reported 296.4 cases per 100,000 in the same time frame. Combined with the city, New York State has reported 47,277 new cases of the virus in the last seven days compared to Texas’s 31,468.
McConaughey’s remarks come as he expresses interest in running for Texas governor.
“As I’ve said before, I’m giving it consideration,” the Dallas Buyers Club star during the CBS This Morning appearance. “I’d be a fool not to. It’s a very honorable thing to consider what that position would mean, what it would be for me, what it would mean for the people of Texas. I have to decide for me what is my category where I can be most useful in life from here.”