6 Celebrities Who Took Controversial Stances On The Coronavirus Pandemic

They've been met with criticism.

6 Celebrities Who Took Controversial Stances On The Coronavirus Pandemic Getty Images

If you're feeling freaked out about the spread of the coronavirus in the United States and all over the world, you're not the only one — but some celebrities are keeping it a little too cool at a time like this. 

In fact, some celebrities, like Vanessa Hudgens and Dr. Drew are sharing their opinions with the world, to varying degrees of criticism.

Here are celebrities who took controversial views on the coronavirus pandemic:


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1. Vanessa Hudgens went live on Instagram to share her feelings. 

While broadcasting to her followers on Instagram this week, Vanessa opened up about how she didn't think people needed to take self-isolation so seriously — and staying home until July was "a bunch of bullsh*t." 


"It's a virus. I get it. I respect it, but at the same time, like, even if everybody gets it — yeah, people are gonna die, which is like, terrible, but...inevitable?" she said. "I don't know, maybe I shouldn't be doing this right now." 

Later, Hudgens apologized on Twitter, saying that her statement was "insensitive" and claiming that the backlash she got had been a wakeup call for her.

2. Dr. Drew Pinksy has spoken out about the media causing panic.

In an interview on March 9, Dr. Drew Pinsky said that he believed the media needed to be held responsible for the panic happening among Americans.

“A bad flu season is 80,000 dead, we’ve got about 18,000 dead from influenza this year, we have a hundred from corona. Which should you be worried about, influenza or Corona?" Pinsky said. "A hundred versus 18,000? It’s not a trick question. And look, everything that’s going on with the New York cleaning the subways and everyone using Clorox wipes and get your flu shot, which should be the other message, that’s good. That’s a good thing, so I have no problem with the behaviors. What I have a problem with is the panic and the fact that businesses are getting destroyed that people’s lives are being upended, not by the virus, but by the panic." 


UPDATE: Reps for Dr. Drew have issued a clarifying statement to Yourtango regarding his views: "What Dr. Drew has an issue with is the inflammatory language the media is using when covering the virus that is causing panic.  For example, telling people to "Shelter in Place, " which is the language used for active shooter situations. Why don't they just say quarantine. Dr. Drew is following the data very closely. He is listening to Dr. Facui and the CDC and explicitly telling people to follow their directions."

3. Rob Schneider is convinced healthy people are not affected. 

When Schneider appeared on Dr. Drew's Periscope broadcast, he shared that he was still going out to dinner, despite everyone's pleas to stay home for now, and explained why he didn't think it was a big deal. 

“This is not affecting people who are healthy,” Schneider said, despite the fact that there have been many reports to the contrary. 

4. Sean Hannity called the coronavirus "fake news."

During his show, Hannity, the Fox News host shared that he believed the coronavirus hype was truly overblown.


“Sadly, these viruses pop up time to time,” he said. “Pandemics happen time to time.”

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5. Dr. Oz blames it all on panic. 

While appearing on the Today show, Dr. Oz even went so far as to say that he would still be traveling and living life normally if he was younger.

“If I was younger I would go ahead and travel, but if I was older, I wouldn’t — and would avoid crowded places,” he said, suggesting that the panic has made coronavirus seem more than it is. 

6. Evangeline Lilly thinks freedom is more important than self-isolating.

After sharing a photo on Instagram of her "business as usual" morning after dropping her children off at their activities, she explained in a comment that she will not be changing her routine, even though she lives with her father, who is battling leukemia.


“I am also immune compromised at the moment,” Lilly wrote. “I have two young kids. Some people value their lives over freedom, some people value freedom over their lives. We all make our choices. Where we are right now feels a lot too close to Marshall Law [sic] for my comfort already, all in the name of a respiratory flu. It’s unnerving…Let’s be vigilant right now. And kind. Watchful and gracious — keeping a close eye on our leaders, making sure they don’t abuse this moment to steal away more freedoms and grab more power.”

Fortunately, more celebrities are using their platforms to make sure their followers are well aware of how serious coronavirus can be for people of all ages, encouraging their fans to stay at home until it's safe to resume normal life. Self-isolation is definitely difficult, but hopefully, it will contribute to helping slow this thing down faster than listening to the naysayers.

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Nicole Pomarico is an entertainment and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Cosmo, Us Weekly, Refinery29, and more.