Celebrated Hollywood actor Matthew McConaughey said he is against COVID vaccine mandates, especially for children, and thinks vaccination is a personal decision for parents to make.
In an interview with The New York Times‘ DealBook Online Summit on Tuesday, the 52-year-old actor said he is not against the vaccine itself, but that he “couldn’t” force younger children to get vaccinated without more information about the formulas used in them.
McConaughey’s thoughts on masks, vaccines and PCR tests
McConaughey believes that the issue of masks and vaccination has become politicized and that there have been “exaggerations” about it on both sides of the political spectrum. According to his position, the use of facemasks should have been “an easy mandate,” given that science has proven their efficacy in preventing contagion.
“No harm proven and we only can prove that it can be healthy,” the actor said about facemasks. “It’s a small inconvenience for a possible long-term freedom, but everybody, let’s pay the tithe and put one on. We were trying to figure this out as we go, the science is changing as we go.”
On vaccines, the Interstellar star has a different stance and thinks that “one day we’re going to see who is exaggerating” about COVID-19 vaccination.
“Cause as this thing got politicized, both sides, you can feel them both start to exaggerate,” McConaughey continued. “One side of the left was trying to raise up every number and anyone that died with the common cold, they said ‘leave it on covid, we’ll raise the numbers’. The other side said: ‘no, none of this would have happened, covid is not getting anybody.'”
The reality is, according to the actor, that the soccer season is now nine weeks in, and sporting events have resumed, so far with no adverse effects on the contagion and death figures.
“I was sitting there and going: these are super spreader events, I can’t believe we’re doing it, doomsday is coming,” the Texan expressed. “So far, 12 weeks later, those didn’t seem to be super spreader events. So now, the question really does not even seem as much ‘are you vaccinated?'”
The issue, McConaughey remarked, is in PCR testing.
“It’s really a testing issue: if I’m gonna be there and sit there and talk to you in person, you PCR test and I PCR test, we’re both clear, comes negative, come on in. We can even shake hands, maybe even hug and sit down and talk without a mask.”
Now, vaccination is a topic that made McConaughey bring his hands to his head and think twice before responding.
“A vaccinated person can spread it just as much as an unvaccinated person, but there is some proof that if you’re vaccinated and you get covid, your symptoms won’t be as harsh, but you can spread it just as well. So this is a moving target.”
On that note, McConaughey said he doesn’t believe there is any kind of conspiracy theory or mysteries behind vaccines, and that this is “scientists doing the right thing.” Although he trusts science and COVID vaccines, he is not ready to vaccinate his children.
Right now, I’m not vaccinating mine [children], I’ll tell you that. I’ve been vaccinated, my wife’s been vaccinated, we have a high risk person in our household, my mother who’s 90 and she’s immunocompromised.”
He explained that his decision was to do as much quarantine as possible and take PCR tests constantly, in addition to keeping events in open spaces and taking care when having contact with people outside his closest environment, as a precaution.
“I couldn’t mandate having to vaccinate younger kids. I still want to find out more information. There’s going to come a time, though, where you’re going to have to roll the dice one way or the other and go: where are the numbers in my favor?”
Finally, the Greenlights author insisted that this is a matter of individual choice: “I am vaccinated, wife’s vaccinated, didn’t do it because someone told me I had to, I chose to do it. Mom has vaccinated three times, still hasn’t created any antibodies for it. She’s the one I’m really trying to protect. We’re over here just trying to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible, but I couldn’t mandate it for kids just yet now.”