Tom Hanks Urges You to Do Your Part and Wear a Mask

Robin Zlotnick - Author

Jul. 8 2020, Updated 11:04 a.m. ET

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Tom Hanks wants you to wear a mask. Yes, you. And what are you going to do, ignore the advice of America's favorite actor? I think not! 

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Tom Hanks, who is a COVID-19 survivor along with his wife, Rita Wilson, went on the Today show to talk about his experience with the virus, and in his interview, he took issue with those who are not taking the pandemic seriously, who refuse to wear masks and stay socially distant.

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"Listen to Tom Hanks," California governor Gavin Newsom writes. Never have truer words been spoken. There's not a piece of advice in the world better than that. It's simple. Listen to Tom Hanks. 

When Hoda Kotb asks him if he has any lasting effects from the virus, which he and Wilson contracted back in March while the couple was in Australia, he says, "What has lingered here is this societal question, really, of doing our part." He says that back in World War II, there was a sensibility that everyone had to step up to do their part, that we were all in it together, no matter how long the conflict took to resolve. 

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"We don't know what's going to happen with COVID-19. The idea of doing one's part, though, should be so simple," he says. "Wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands. That alone means you are contributing to the betterment of your house, your work, your town, your society as a whole. And it's such a small thing and I don't— It's a mystery to me how somehow that has been wiped out of what should be ingrained in the behavior of us all."

When asked how he thinks the country as a whole has responded to the virus, Hanks believes the vast majority of Americans "get it." But, he says, "Look, there's no law against ignorance. It's not illegal to have opinions that are wrong. I think you flout a number of realities when two and two don't add up to four." He says we cannot "confuse the fact" that COVID-19 is killing people. 

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Hear that, everybody? Tom Hanks says that if you don't believe in the seriousness of this pandemic, if you don't listen to scientists and experts who are telling us to continue to social distance and wear masks, you are ignorant. Plain and simple.

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We've made Tom Hanks mad, and that's maybe the worst thing you can do! In the Today interview clip, he concludes by saying, "I don't know how common sense has somehow been put in question in regards to this." It's common sense to wear a mask, social distance, and wash your lands. Listen to Tom Hanks. 

Tom Hanks reiterates this point on Nightly News with Lester Holt, where he responded that the debate about masks and other safety measures "disappoints" him. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be even slightly responsible for disappointing Woody from Toy Story.

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Again, on the BBC, Hanks expresses dismay that people can't seem to do "three tiny things" in an effort to control this extremely dangerous virus. He says, "Wear a mask, wash your hands, social distance. If you can't do that, I don't have much respect for you."

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If you can't even do three simple things to make Forrest Gump himself respect you, that's really saying something...terrible...about you. Say it with me: "Wear a mask, wash your hands, social distance." It's that easy.

I mean, Tom Hanks is the closest thing we have to Mr. Rogers right now. You should always — and I cannot stress this enough — strive to live your life in a way that would make Mr. Rogers, or at least the man who played him in the movies, proud.

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