Arnold Schwarzenegger Says Those Making Face Mask Use Political Are 'Morons'

Arnold Schwarzenegger supports the lawmakers making face masks compulsory — and he has harsh words for critics of the idea. On Thursday, Schwarzenegger tweeted his support for California Gov. Gavin Newsom's state order making citizens where face masks, adding that anyone trying to make this issue political was a "moron." Some took issue with the former governor's blunt wording.

Schwarzenegger retweeted Newsom's announcement on Thursday, saying that it is "100 percent the right move" as far as he is concerned. He pointed out the recent scientific findings showing that face masks are even more effective in preventing the spread of the coronavirus than previously believed, saying that facial coverings are essential to reopening public spaces "safely." Schwarzenegger added: "It's not a political issue. Anyone making it a political issue is an absolute moron who can't read."

Many followers agreed with Schwarzenegger, chiming in to say that Americans should take the advice of medical experts above all else, regardless of which political channel they received it through. Still, many feel that face masks have been politicized in part by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, both of whom have refused to wear masks in several public appearances now, including a visit to a mask manufacturing plant.

California joins a list of seven other states that have some form of executive order or law requiring residents to wear face masks while out in public. They include Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington state. Other states have taken steps to advise the wearing of masks without making it mandatory.

Face masks have been a hot topic ever since the coronavirus pandemic began, but the information about them has been inconsistent, to say the least. Early on, experts advised people to wear surgical masks only if they were reasonably certain they had been exposed to COVID-19, but now they encourage everyone to wear one if they have to go out. The CDC also revised its recommendations in early April to say that homemade masks of cloth were acceptable.

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Some viral posts on social media still tout these earlier instructions, with some even suggesting that cloth masks can be more dangerous than wearing no mask because they trap moisture and particles in front of the wearer's mouth. Experts now say this is not true — Virginia Tech airborne disease expert Linsey Marr told The Tampa Bay Times that cloth masks offer "up to 80 percent protection" from the virus.

"Which is much better than 0 percent, although not as good as an N95," Marr added. "Still, reducing the amount of virus that we inhale by 80 percent is better than nothing."