Matthew McConaughey made headlines last Wednesday when he chose to speak out against the mandate to vaccinate children. Although the actor and the adult members of his family have all gotten the Covid-19 vaccine, in an interview with the New York Times, McConaughey said that he would not vaccinate his younger children. Now, in response to the blowback, the Interstellar star is clarifying his controversial comments.
Now that a week has passed since Matthew McConaughey’s initial comments about vaccinating children hit the airwaves, the actor took to Instagram (via Bounding Into Comics) to claim that his words have been taken out of context by the media. According to McConaughey, the notion that he’s against the vaccination of children is false. “What was not clear is that I was referring specifically to the 5-11-year-old mandate,” McConaughey wrote in his Instagram stories. “What is NOT true, and insinuated with the clickbait headlines since is that I am against vaccinating kids at all. This is false.” He added that his “eldest son 13 year old son Levi is fully vaccinated for Covid 19.”
The controversy may understandably be confusing to Matthew McConaughey fans considering what the actor has said in the past. For example, last July McConaughey posted a video to his Instagram account in which he encouraged his followers to “wear the damn mask.” As Bounding Into Comics notes, he’s also been known to post pictures of himself in nature, with no one else in sight, wearing a mask.
So it was likely surprising for many when fans heard Matthew McConaughey answer a question from the New York Times about vaccine mandates with, “We’re over here just trying to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible. But I couldn’t mandate it for kids just yet. No.” At the same time, he said that he has received the COVID-19 vaccine as have his his wife and mother.
In response to Matthew McConaughey’s discussion with the New York Times, US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said highlighted that “Covid is not harmless in our children.” On CNN’s Outfront, Dr. Murthy warned, “Many kids have died. Sadly, hundreds of children — thousands — have been hospitalized, and as a dad of a child who has been hospitalized several years ago for another illness, I would never wish upon any parent they have a child that ends up in the hospital.”
Matthew McConaughey has been reported to be looking into making a run in the next Texas gubernatorial race, and a poll conducted earlier this year showed the actor having a stronger lead than the current governor, Greg Abbot. Should McConaughey take the plunge, the recent controversy may very well have an impact on how voters swing, though it isn’t clear if it could help or hurt his chances. Some polls coming out of the Lone Star state say most Texans are in favor of the Covid-19 vaccine, while others suggest they’re wary of getting vaccinated.