Chet Hanks Sparks Controversy After Going on Anti-Vax Rant in Video

Chet Hanks is sparking controversy again after going on a rant against the COVID-19 vaccine in a new Instagram video in which he dismissed the virus that has killed more than 617,000 Americans as "the flu." Chet is the 31-year-old son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, two of the first high-profile people to get sick with COVID-19 in March 2020, and he faked out many of his followers at the start of the video he posted Monday captioned, "SUPER IMPORTANT PSA GUYS LETS GET THRU THIS TOGETHER."

"Look, I've been kind of on the fence about this for a while, that's why I never spoke on it," he told the camera. "But with the amount of people I know recently that have gotten COVID, and with the numbers rising, I think it's important for me to say I got the vaccine—I think everybody should." He continued that it was "really important" for people to get vaccinated as American citizens.

"We have to look out for each other and get this s— under control, guys. So I suggest to all my followers, you guys set an appointment and get the vaccine first thing," he continued, then yelling "Psych!" into the camera and continuing, "B—! If it ain't broke don't fix it! I never had COVID. You ain't sticking me with that motherf—ing needle. It's the motherf—ing flu. Get over it, OK?"

Chet concluded, "If you're sick, stay inside. I'm tired... Why are we working around y'all? If you're in danger, stay your a— inside. I'm tried of wearing a motherf—ing mask." He doubled down despite the backlash forming on social media with an Instagram Story reading, "THE VACCINE SHOULD BE A CHOICE NOT A REQUIREMENT TO PERFORM OUR BASIC RIGHTS YEAH I SAID IT !!!!! BE AS MAD AS YOU WANT IDGAF !!!!"

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On the other side completely, Tom Hanks told Stephen Colbert on The Late Show in July 2020 that wearing a mask is the "least you can do" to help prevent the spread of COVID. "I don't get it. It's literally the least you can do," he said at the time. "The least you can do is wear a cloth or a thing, I mean, I'm wearing bandanas, double layer. Mask and wash your hands and try to stay six feet away from a person."