Hollywood actor Matthew McConaughey, who's currently mulling a run for governor of Texas, on Wednesday criticized Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for lifting the state's mask mandate.
McConaughey appeared on "CBS This Morning" to discuss his charitable efforts to help Texas rebuild after February's massive snow storm. During the interview, he was asked to share his thoughts on Gov. Abbott's March 2 announcement that Texas would open 100% and that residents would no longer be required to wear masks.
Academy Award winner Matthew @McConaughey is on a mission to help fellow Texans after last month's massive storm.… https://t.co/1UMAeLYhLr— CBS This Morning (@CBS This Morning)1615986788.0
"My reaction to that is ... I was a little dumbfounded by the decision," McConaughey said. "I understand 'go back to work.' What I did not understand was 'pull the mask mandate.'"
He suggested that Texans don't really have a problem with wearing face coverings to protect against COVID-19 and that the real problem is people don't like the government telling them what to do.
"I just want to remind, not only Texans, but everybody out there, it's not the mask we're afraid of, c'mon. It's the word 'mandate.' Let's not let the word 'mandate' get in the way of practical use of this little tool called a mask. It's just a small inconvenience today for more freedom tomorrow," McConaughey said.
Though Texans are no longer required to wear a mask, the actor said masking is our "choice" and said that people should "keep masking up."
"It's proven to help. We don't have much longer in this. We'll get through this. Thank you," he said.
Asked about his potential political ambitions, McConaughey reiterated that he's giving consideration to running for governor, but said he went on the program to discuss his efforts to help Texans recover from the storm.
"As I've said before, I'm giving it consideration. It's a very honorable thing to consider ... As I've said before and I'll say again now, I have to decide for me what is my category where I can be most useful in life from here?"
McConaughey and his wife Camila will host "We're Texas," a virtual benefit this Sunday to raise money to help Texans recovering from the winter storm. The benefit will feature performances from artists including Kelly Clarkson, Willie Nelson, Kacey Musgraves, and more.
The actor credited his wife with coming up with the idea.
"Camila came and knocked on my door and said, 'do you see what's happening here?'" McConaughey told CBS. "She has my back. I put my head down, gathered people to go to work."
He contacted Texas businesses, athletes, and other celebrities to recruit them to assist with the benefit.
"We're happy with where we are, with a lot of help from a lot of people, in Texas and beyond," he said.