Healthcare

Nick Offerman testifies before Congress on vaccines: ‘Medicine doesn’t care who you voted for’

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Actor Nick Offerman, known for playing the anti-government Ron Swanson on “Parks and Recreation,” testified before Congress on Wednesday to discuss the “gift” of the COVID-19 vaccine as daily shots have fallen since last month.

Offerman, who is also an author and woodworker, cited his background as a small-business owner and “proud Midwesterner” when addressing the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations during a House Energy & Commerce subcommittee hearing

He noted that some Americans “with experiences and backgrounds similar to my own” are vaccine hesitant, so he wanted to give them a “positive message” on the shot that he called a “gift.” 

“I will not be offering medical advice today,” he said. “I will leave that to the scientists and medical experts on the panel also known as the smart people.”

“Instead, I would like to lead with my ignorance in these matters to represent the rest of the citizens who are not epidemiologists and doctors but feet on the ground, hands in the dirt people across our country whose lives and livelihoods have taken a pounding from this pandemic,” Offerman continued. 

The actor also pointed to his family of 38 people in Minooka, Ill., saying some members have refused masks and the vaccine, while others are immunocompromised, “which means we all have to avoid the ‘anti-vaxxers,’ who we love, for the safety of the rest of the family.” 

“Medicine doesn’t care who you voted for,” he said. “We amazing humans have created a vaccine that serves the common good. The vaccine doesn’t take sides, unless you count alive vs. dead.” 

When Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairwoman Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) asked Offerman what message he wants to get across to Americans considering getting the shot, the actor said, “What’s likely to occur at the hands of COVID-19 is much more catastrophic than what’s now been proven to be a harmless vaccine.”

“So it’s not a sensibility of deciding for oneself and saying, ‘Oh my immune system will take care of me,’ ” he continued. “Instead act as a member of a community or a good neighbor or a good citizen and say, ‘Ah the experts have made it clear that for the health of all we absolutely have to achieve this herd immunity.’ ”

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 COVID-19 vaccines Diana DeGette Nick Offerman Pandemic Parks and Recreation Testimony Vaccines
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