This morning, during an otherwise jovial appearance on The Today Show, Tom Hanks went full "America's Dad" on COVID-19 deniers. He wasn't angry, exactly—just very, very disappointed. "There's no law against ignorance," Hanks said. "It's not illegal to have opinions that are wrong. But I think you flout a number of realities when two and two don't add up to four."
After briefly discussing the daily slog he and his wife Rita endured while battling coronavirus back in March, Hanks drew a comparison between social responsibility during World War II and what we see happening now, during the pandemic.
"There was a sensibility that permeated all of society [in the war], which was 'Do your part. We're all in this together,'" he said. "And doing your part meant there was a tiny amount of stuff you could do to aid the ongoing status of an effort that had no sign of its conclusion. World War II went on for an awfully long time—a big portion of everyone's lives. They didn't know when it was going to come to an end and we don't know what's going to happen with COVID-19. The idea of doing one's part, though, should be so simple."
Hanks went on: "Wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands. 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. Simple things! Do your part!"
Then Hanks employed the most American tool at anyone's disposal in a time of crisis: Bruce Springsteen lyrics. "There is a darkness of the edge of town here, folks," he said, referencing the 1978 song and album. "Let’s not confuse the fact—it’s killing people... You can say 'Well, traffic accidents kill a lot of people too.' Yeah, and traffic accidents happen because a lot of people aren't doing their part."