Arnold Schwarzenegger wants America to know that he's sorry for saying "screw your freedom" at the height of the COVID-induced mass hysteria in 2021.
At the time, the Austrian-born former action movie hero somehow turned into a liberal wine mom, joining formerly edgy public figures like Howard Stern.
“There is a virus here. It kills people and the only way we prevent it is: get vaccinated, wear masks, do social distancing, washing your hands all the time, and not just to think about, ‘Well my freedom is being kind of disturbed here.’ No, screw your freedom," Schwarzenegger said at the time.
With his blunt comments, Schwarzenegger succinctly expressed the mindset of the "zero COVID" ideologues who advocated an indefinite suspension of civil liberties until an undefined target of "safety" had been reached.
The 75-year-old former California governor and bodybuilder, who still identifies as Republican, issued an apology almost two years after the fact over Twitter, saying he should have chosen his words more carefully.
I want to thank you for your open-mindedness. I think we should be able to disagree without being enemies.
Here’s what else I’ll say: I’m sorry for saying those words. I try to be relentlessly positive, but sometimes my mouth gets ahead of me. I should have communicated better. https://t.co/hpqcrbni3F
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) April 5, 2023
The mea culpa comes a month after Schwarzenegger issued a PSA against "hate" and prejudice that cited the cruelty of the Nazis.
The comments struck many as ironic in light of the state- and media-backed campaign to dehumanize "the unvaccinated" -- in which Arnold participated -- that some likened to the Holocaust.
While Arnold's apology is welcome, it's likely to leave many unsatisfied after years of tyrannical overreach that upended millions of lives.
Unfortunately, belated apologies are probably the closest the country will ever get to seeing some accountability for the abuses of the COVID years.
For the most part, contrition has not been forthcoming from those in government and media, including Anthony Fauci and Joe Biden, who advocated steamrolling dissenters -- and the impact of Republican oversight probes is doubtful.
Biden infamously pitted Americans against one another over "safe and effective" vaccines that he made mandatory, declaring patience was "wearing thin" with those not in compliance.
He has since sought to take a victory lap for ushering in normalcy. On Monday, he quietly ended the COVID state of emergency more than three years after it was enacted in 2020.