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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson's son Chet calls COVID-19 the 'flu' in anti-vaccine rant

Chet Hanks' famous parents were hospitalized with COVID-19 while in Australia at the beginning of the pandemic.
Rita Wilson Honored With Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame
Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks stand next to their son Chet, as Wilson is honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 29, 2019 in Hollywood, California.Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Despite his parents being among the first COVID-19 cases that captured the attention of the American public, Tom Hanks' son Chet went on an anti-coronavirus vaccine rant on his social media feeds on Tuesday.

He started off by imploring his followers to get vaccinated and to take the pandemic seriously before shouting, "Psych!"

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," he said in one video. "I never had COVID, you ain't sticking me with that motherf---ing needle, it's the motherf---ing flu, get over it."

He added he was "tired" of wearing a mask.

"If you're sick, stay inside ... why are we working around y'all?" he asked. "If you're in danger, stay your a-- inside."

In his Instagram story, he recounted a recent visit to a bookstore where an employee repeatedly told him to keep his mask on over his nose.

"I’m so sick of this mask s---, dude," he said, later adding to his story a post that read, "THE VACCINE SHOULD BE A CHOICE NOT A REQUIREMENT TO PERFORM OUR BASIC RIGHTS..."

Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in the United States as the delta variant — which is nearly twice as contagious as previous variants, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control — surges across the country.

Experts have stressed that all three COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use by the FDA and widely available in the U.S. are safe and effective against serious illness. As of Tuesday, about half of all Americans are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC, though "unvaccinated people remain the greatest concern."

"Although breakthrough infections happen much less often than infections in unvaccinated people, individuals infected with the Delta variant, including fully vaccinated people with symptomatic breakthrough infections, can transmit it to others," the CDC said in a release on Aug. 6. "CDC is continuing to assess data on whether fully vaccinated people with asymptomatic breakthrough infections can transmit. However, the greatest risk of transmission is among unvaccinated people who are much more likely to contract, and therefore transmit the virus."

Chet Hanks' parents — actor Tom Hanks and singer Rita Wilson — publicly confirmed they had tested positive for COVID-19 on March 11, 2020.

On TODAY in July, Tom Hanks explained he believes the country needs to come together with the type of collective spirit similar to the one shared by Americans during World War II to stop the coronavirus pandemic.

"The idea of doing one's part, though, should be so simple — wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands," Hanks said at the time. "That alone means you are contributing to the betterment of your house, your work, your town, your society as a whole, and it's such a small thing. It's a mystery to me how somehow that has been wiped out of what should be ingrained in the behavior of us all."