Vanessa Hudgens is under fire after making dismissive remarks about the novel coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19, during an Instagram Live stream on Monday.
While rambling on about her recently postponed trip to London, England, the High School Musical actor also complained about the global pandemic to her fans, suggesting that she doesn’t feel fazed at all by its threat or the international concern pertaining to it.
“I’m sorry, but like, it’s a virus, I get it. Like, I respect it, but at the same time, like, even if everybody gets it, like, yeah, people are gonna die. Which is terrible, but like, inevitable?” said Hudgens, blatantly disregarding the well-being of those surrounding her.
The 31-year-old’s seemingly insensitive comments fueled the anger of thousands of fans and haters all across social media after the video clip quickly went viral on Tuesday.
On how long she thinks the life-threatening virus will last, Hudgens replied, “Um, yeah, ’til July sounds like a bunch of bulls–t.”
“What a horrible and heartless message for you to share with the younger people who look up to you,” wrote one Twitter user, who initially sparked the buzz around the video snippet and made it a trending topic on the social media platform.
Many others called Hudgens out for ignoring the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recent recommendations for social distancing across the globe, which calls for people self-isolate and avoid human interaction outside of their homes or residencies.
Another Twitter user pointed out to the former Disney star that people of all ages deal with “compromised immune systems,” adding that COVID-19 could be fatal for those individuals and not just elderly people.
Here’s what some more Twitter users had to say about Hudgens’ remarks:
Here’s what some other frustrated Twitter users had to say:
“The selfishness of these kids is infuriating,” tweeted another. “Some of us have loved ones who are extremely vulnerable.”
Not acknowledging the backlash against her, Hudgens took to Instagram again on Tuesday, wishing what’s left of her fans a “Happy St. Patrick’s dayyyyy.”
Once again, she subtly suggested that the outbreak of COVID-19 was a trivial matter.
“I wish we were in a pub, but we’re not … because lockdown,” she said, with a giggle.
🍀Happy St. Patrick’s dayyyyy 🍀 cheers your friends over FaceTime!
A post shared by 🔮Vanessa Hudgens🔮 (@vanessahudgens) on
Hours later, Hudgens returned to Instagram Live and made comment — not an apology — on the critique she was receiving for dismissing the health crisis.
“I realize today that some of my comments are being taken out of context,” said the actor.
“It’s a crazy time. It’s a crazy, crazy time,” she added, before reiterating that she was “at home in lockdown.”
Later Tuesday afternoon, Hudgens released a second apology, this time written and posted to Twitter.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
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