Arnold Schwarzenegger Slams 'Whiny Babies' Who Refuse to Wear Masks

Arnold Schwarzenegger has doubled down on his criticism of those in the U.S. opposed to wearing masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The former Governor of California drew criticism in some circles earlier this month after declaring "screw your freedom" in response to the anti-mask viewpoint that wearing face coverings represents an infringement on civil liberties.

He told CNN: "There is a virus here. It kills people, and the only way we prevent it is get vaccinated, get 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."

Several right-wing commentators sought to revisit his father's involvement with the Nazis while Tennessee pastor Greg Locke fired back with: "Screw your communism."

Responding to the criticism in a lengthy statement in his monthly newsletter, Schwarzenegger acknowledged that while he had also lost the support of several fellow bodybuilders as well as a sponsor for the annual Arnold Sports Festival over his remarks, his stance was unchanged.

He did, however, seek to clarify that he was not opposed to freedom but rather the "whiny babies" he sees "going viral on the internet who think that being asked to put on a mask is a perfect reason to throw a toddler fit in a grocery store."

"These are people who yell 'FREEDOM' in their American flag hats while not taking any time to study the history of our nation and how freedom and duty have ALWAYS gone hand in hand," he added.

"They think being an American means not caring about their fellow Americans, and I'm sorry, I can't accept that."

Schwarzenegger also sought to dispel the notion that masks represented a major infringement on personal freedoms.

"We live in a wonderful country where you have boundless opportunity and more freedom than anywhere else," he said. "But with your liberty comes responsibility."

He cited examples like speed limits, rules on drunk driving and Selective Service as accepted limitations on liberty that are designed to make society a safer, more considerate place.

The Terminator actor expressed concern that ultimately too many are choosing "feelings over learning" when it comes to masks and other restrictions.

"We have to stop making everything political, or we will be in big trouble when the next crisis strikes us," he wrote. "A mask should not be political, and it should not be the reason for a protest."

Schwarzenegger urged people to listen to doctors and retain faith in institutions rather than heed the word of people on social media who "just want money."

"The Instagram and Facebook accounts you follow that give information on vaccines are not concerned about your health," he wrote.

The Predator star's warnings come a day after Texas man Caleb Wallace became the latest anti-mask activist in the U.S. to die from the coronavirus.

Wallace, who was just 30 and is survived by his pregnant wife and three children, helped organize a group in Texas called the San Angelo Freedom Defenders, which opposed COVID-19 restrictions.

In an October 2020 interview, Wallace he spoke out against the wearing of masks.

"The basic rights of breathing free air, moving about freely, going into businesses without being harassed about a mask...these doctors leveling these ridiculous restrictions upon its citizens with no representation in city council, commissioners' courts," he said.

"We're not just a bunch of angry people, we're people that yes, we are fed up, but we also want to provide options and to provide a positive option."

Wallace began experiencing COVID symptoms on July 26. He died on August 29.

Newsweek has reached out to Schwarzenegger for comment.

Arnold Schwarzenegger at the 2019 CinemaCon.
Arnold Schwarzenegger at the 2019 CinemaCon in Las Vegas - the actor and former governor has hit back at critics of his recent comments on masks. Gabe Ginsberg/WireImage/Getty