Matthew McConaughey shares inspiring 4th of July message: 'Wear the damn mask'

Matthew McConaughey is promoting face masks during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: Gary Miller/Getty Images)
Matthew McConaughey is promoting face masks during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: Gary Miller/Getty Images)

Matthew McConaughey has a health message for America: “Wear the damn mask.”

On Saturday, for the Fourth of July, the Oscar winner promoted face masks to protect against the coronavirus, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Happy 244th birthday, America. We is going through some growing pains in this one, aren’t we?” said McConaughey in Twitter and Instagram videos. “But growing pains are a good thing, because how the hell else are we going to grow up?”

McConaughey asked followers to try for improvement and protect each other. “I think we gotta look each other in the eye ... look ourselves in the eye, we gotta look in the mirror and ask ourselves, ‘How can I be better? How can I expect more of myself and others? How can I be more responsible? How can I have more compassion? How can I have more courage? How can I be more fair? How do I make sure that I wear the damn mask?’” he said, raising his fist.

He explained that making changes individually leads to collective change. “That’s how we get to next year’s birthday and birthdays beyond that. And we start partying again. Looking around and thinking, ‘Oh yeah we always got work to do. We never arrive, but we improved.’ That’s our chance. That’s our opportunity. That’s on me. That’s on you.”

“It’s game time. Ding, ding. We are in the ring, America,” he said in his classic drawl. “Let’s quit messing about and get it done,” closing out his speech with his famous tagline: “Just keep livin.’” Married couple Camila and Matthew McConaughey founded the “just keep livin’ Foundation” to empower teens after he was inspired by the phrase while filming the 1993 film Dazed and Confused.

McConaughey previously told CBS Sunday Morning that his support for face masks has nothing to do with politics. "It's about us. It's not about politics," he said. "The narrative started to feel like, 'Well, if you wanna go to work, you're on the far right. And if you wanna stay home, you're on the far left.' And that's just not true. Virus doesn't give a damn who you voted for, or I voted for, you know?" he said. "And we shouldn't care about that right now.”

In April, the actor even showed followers how to make their own masks at home using a bandana, a coffee filter and rubber bands, taking on the alter ego of “Bobby Bandito” in an Instagram video. And in May, McConaughey provided hospital workers in Texas and Louisiana with face masks.

McConaughey has stayed plenty busy while in quarantine by giving an online commencement speech to the Class of 2020. In the video that aired on Good Morning America in May, the actor advised grads to “act today in ways that you will respect tomorrow.”

“From how you treat yourself to how you treat others in real life and online. And what I mean by online, just remember those comments you leave online, those thumbs-up or thumbs-down, they will outlive you,” he said. “They are part of your resume of who you are.”

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.

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Originally published