Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) had a message for Americans who continue to be “in denial” about the potential dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is a virus here. It kills people and the only way we prevent it is: get vaccinated, wear masks, do social distancing, washing your hands all the time, and not just to think about, ‘Well my freedom is being kind of disturbed here.’ No, screw your freedom,” he told CNN. “You have the freedom to wear no mask but you know something? You’re a schmuck for not wearing a mask. Because you are supposed to protect your fellow Americans around you.”

Schwarzenegger proceeded to compare the opposition of face masks to traffic laws, saying that neither is a violation of people’s rights.

“We put the traffic light at the intersection so someone doesn’t kill someone else by accident,” he said. “You cannot say, ‘No one is going [to] tell me that I’m going to stop here at this traffic light here, I’m going to go right through it.’ Yeah, then you kill someone else and then it is your doing.”

Schwarzenegger said that freedom comes with “obligations and responsibilities. You cannot just say, ‘I have the right to do XYZ’ when you affect other people. That is when it gets serious. This is the same thing with the virus. You cannot go and not put the mask on because when you breathe, you can infect someone else. And you can infect someone that then gets sick and may die.”

The actor had previously shared his opinion about the pandemic and laws that require masks. When California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a state order in June 2020 that required people to wear masks in public spaces, Schwarzenegger publicly said that this decision was “100% the right move.”

“This will help us beat this terrible virus,” he wrote on Twitter. “The science is unanimous – if we all wear masks, we slow down the spread and can reopen safely. It’s not a political issue. Anyone making it a political issue is an absolute moron who can’t read.”

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