- Nick Offerman played the role of the ultimate everyman in testimony before Congress on Thursday.
- “Ignorance is an area which I can claim some authority,” he said of his scientific credentials.
- The “Parks & Rec” star outlined why the vaccine timeline should not worry those who are hesitant.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Actor and small business owner Nick Offerman testified before Congress Thursday to assuage the anxieties and fears of vaccine-hesitant Americans.
Famous for his plain spoken portrayals of macho characters such as Ron Swanson from NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” Offerman attempted to take a different line of approach than that of medical experts.
“As an actor, author, and woodworker, I will not be offering medical advice today,” he said from his Bel Air home. “I will leave that to the scientists and medical experts on the panel, also known as the smart people.”
-CSPAN (@cspan) May 26, 2021
“Instead, I would like to lead with my ignorance in these matters, to represent the rest of the citizens who are not epidemiologists and doctors, but feet on the ground, hands in the dirt people across our country whose lives and livelihoods have taken a pounding from this pandemic,” Offerman continued. “Ignorance is an area which I can claim some authority.”
Touting his wood shop business, Offerman said vaccines have “saved” his company as the COVID-19 shots have become widely available in California’s Los Angeles County.
Offerman said he understands why the vaccines are often referred to as a “miracle” because of their ability to save lives and drastically reduce coronavirus symptoms, “but I don’t think that miracle is quite accurate.”
“A miracle is something inexplicable that appears from nowhere … The vaccine is not a miracle,” he said. “The vaccine is a gift.”
He described the jabs as “the absolute pinnacle of achievement” created by “a bunch of dang geniuses.”
“Now, as we’ve heard, unfortunately, the very expedience with which the vaccine has arrived is also a source of confusion, causing people to fear that it was rushed,” Offerman said. “Well, you’re damn right, folks – it was rushed. It’s a pandemic.”
In plain terms, Offerman outlined why the vaccine timeline starting at Operation Warp Speed under the Trump administration should not worry those who remain hesitant.
“But, you can rest assured, the hustle was not applied to the safety of the vaccine,” he said. “The science didn’t arrive overnight. The science is based on 40 years of work. The hustle was just applied to getting that science to you and me by bypassing the usual bureaucratic hurdles, the red tape.”
He wrapped up his testimony with a call to de-politicize COVID-19 vaccines, which polls have shown draw the most skepticism from Republican men.
“Medicine doesn’t care who you voted for,” Offerman said. “We amazing humans have created a vaccine that serves the common good. The vaccine doesn’t take sides, unless you count alive versus dead.”