Since time immemorial, or at least since Rachel Leigh Cook smashed an egg to tell you that drugs are bad in 1997, one of the most popular ways to get the public to listen to health policy is to get celebrities in on the effort. On May 28, Chris Rock and Rosie Perez wore face masks and gloves and joined Governor Andrew Cuomo for his daily press conference, held in a Brooklyn Boys and Girls Club. Cuomo promoted their appearance by tweeting, “Spread love the Brooklyn way. Get tested. Wear a mask. Stand up & do the right thing.” Cuomo also said that Rock and Perez are “going to help communicate this, they are going to do advertisements for the state.”
Rock expressed his appreciation for Cuomo’s leadership, especially in contrast to how other states have handled reopening during the coronavirus pandemic and how the federal government has fallen short in supporting New York. He said, “I watch you every single day, and you bring me calm. You bring me joy. Anita Baker sang that. You bring me joy every single day. Because I don’t know what’s going on. I thought I lived in the United States. I thought I lived in a country. And now I realize that we have 50 countries, essentially. Right now we’re in the country of New York.” Rock also said that based on what he’s observed in Brooklyn, “the kids really aren’t wearing the masks,” but he’s doing his part to give them side-eye: “I’m just hoping to help. I have complete trust in the governor. We’re soldiers for New York. There’s 100,000 dead Americans, and I will go wherever I’m called.”
Perez did her part to call out mask-shunners, saying, “When I see hipsters and yuppies walking around without a mask, I go, what is it? Is it arrogance?” She expressed her support for allowing shop owners to refuse to serve people not wearing masks, saying that it will lessen anxiety and ease “the mental-illness ramifications of all of this,” because “everyone’s on their last nerves.” She’s also walking around town saying, “Hey, do the right thing. Put your mask on. Come on, people!”
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