COVID-19 deniers have been endemic in the pandemic.
And despite all the social distancing, masks, plexiglass and shields, celebrities are not beyond their reach.
Witness Ice-T’s recent tangles with two deniers after he shared a viral video of a woman refusing to wear a mask at a bank in Englewood.
“I am a scientist,” the woman said in the Black Friday encounter. “There is no corona!”
“Oh sh-t,” Ice-T tweeted, sharing the video Sunday. “This Karen is a Scientist! In her mind…”
“You crazy ice t,” @breadheadflow replied. “Scientists and doctors been saying truth and social media deleted (their) information , there is no virus , how dumb can you just base your info on one side.”
The 62-year-old rapper, actor and singer was ready with a reply to shut down the nonsense.
“I have 6 DEAD close friends from this Virus,” Ice-T replied. “You need to shut the F— up…”
“But what kind of underlying issues did they have?” tweeted @paqaboll721, echoing another common refrain of COVID-19 deniers.
“YOUR underlying issue is being a Dumbf—,” Ice replied. “That can get you dead too…”
He followed up those replies with another personal connection to the devastating effects of COVID-19.
“My father-in-law ‘Coco’s dad’ was a serious ‘No Masker,’” he tweeted. “COVID hit him. Pneumonia in both lungs.. 40 days in ICU close to death.. Now he’s on Oxygen indefinitely. Ohhh he’s a Believer now.. #COVIDisNotAGame.”
Ice-T, a gangsta rap pioneer born Tracy Marrow, has played police sergeant Odafin Tutuola on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since 2000. He married model Coco Austin in 2005. Her father, Steve Austin, battled COVID-19 over the summer.
Ice-T shared a photo of Steve wearing an oxygen mask.
Coco, 41, who lives with Ice and their daughter Chanel, 5, in Edgewater, has been updating her followers on social media about her father’s condition, thanking fans for their prayers.
“My dad made it back home!” she posted on Instagram in August. “He is covid free but is still dealing with damaged lungs that covid leaves behind.. He is bound to an oxygen machine till who knows when but is very lucky.”
Coco shared photos showing her family, including herself and Chanel, with her dad.
“He said being in the hospital for a month was like jail,” she continued. “No windows No visitors and laying in one spot and not being able to walk around was getting to him.. He also adds you could hear people moan in pain during the night and some people (weren’t) making it ..So sad. He lost 30 pounds in this time period so my job is to plump him back up so he gains his natural muscle back and is back healthy LOL.. it just feels great to see him in good spirits again..this whole thing has been so stressful.”
In July, she posted photos and video of her father from his hospital bed in Arizona. She said that Steve, 63, a “healthy buff guy with absolutely no underlying conditions,” started showing symptoms on Father’s Day and was admitted to the intensive care unit the same week with breathing problems.
“I like to tell his story because my dad, (amongst) many others, thought Covid was a conspiracy and he was a non believer and never wore a mask,” Coco said.
As Ice said, Steve ended up with COVID-19-related pneumonia in both lungs. In addition to oxygen, he received plasma treatments and tocilizumab, an immunosuppressant used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, but then his lung started to collapse.
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Amy Kuperinsky may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed @AmyKup on Twitter.
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