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Four days ago, actor Edgar Ramirez shared a virtual discussion he had with Dr. Anthony Fauci about all things COVID-19 with a focus on the integrity and importance of vaccines in combating the pandemic and saving lives. Ramirez came to the conversation after having lost his grandmother, Bertha, a month ago due to the virus.
When he posted the Fauci chat, Ramirez detailed how COVID was continuing to devastate his family in his native Venezuela as his Uncle Guillermo was “barely stable” after being hospitalized for a month, and the fate of his Aunt Lucy hung in the balance. “I’m only hoping for a miracle to save my Aunt Lucy’s life. She is dying from COVID,” he wrote, adding that his other aunt, Nidia, had recovered after spending several days hospitalized.
Ramirez offered a heartbreaking update Wednesday, reporting that both Lucy and Guillermo died over the weekend. Monday delivered more devastating news: Nidia’s brother-in-law Rafael, “a dear friend,” also died following a months-long battle with COVID-19. Ramirez explained that another dear friend, his Venezuelan agent Laureano, also died from the virus.
“At times I feel like it is a nightmare from which I am going to wake up, but I know it is not,” wrote Ramirez, star of such recent projects as Jungle Cruise, Yes Day and The Undoing. “That this is as real as the air that at this moment it is difficult for me to breathe.”
Though he was overcome with emotion, Ramirez wrote a lengthy open letter — calling it the “most painful and the most intimate thing I have had to publish in my life” — because he wanted to educate others on the importance of the vaccines, particularly for those in countries like Venezuela that have not yet had the same access as those in the United States.
“My heart can’t just take more pain. I am sad, I am frustrated, I am devastated. It’s been weeks and weeks of my family being played, tortured and jerked around by this cruel, treacherous and violent disease which mercilessly ended up killing them all. I can’t stand this void in my chest, this metallic taste in my mouth, this crippling headache that doesn’t seem to soothe,” he wrote. “None of them had been vaccinated. None had access to a vaccine in Venezuela. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of vaccines are being thrown away in the United States because a large number of people don’t want them. It breaks my heart that so many people in this country are willing to snub the very vaccine my family would have taken in an instant.”
His full open letter is below.
Unfortunately the miracle didn’t happen.
After a gruesome agony my aunt Lucy died on Saturday.
And after being stabilized for a few days and in only a matter of hours, my uncle Guillermo collapsed and died on Sunday.
In less than 24 hours, COVID had taken both of their lives. We had not yet collected my aunt’s ashes when we were due to incinerate my uncle’s body.
Then on Monday, still unable to process the shock and the horror from the weekend, we woke up to the news that my Aunt Nidia’s brother in law, Rafael, a dear friend, had also died after months battling with COVID complications.
They all died exactly a month and two days after COVID had taken the life of my grandmother Bertha and 4 months since it took the life of my Venezuelan agent and dear friend Laureano.
My heart can’t just take more pain. I am sad, I am frustrated, I am devastated. It’s been weeks and weeks of my family being played, tortured and jerked around by this cruel, treacherous and violent disease which mercilessly ended up killing them all. I can’t stand this void in my chest, this metallic taste in my mouth, this crippling headache that doesn’t seem to soothe.
These waves of hopelessness that I refuse to let take root in my soul.
None of them had been vaccinated. None had access to a vaccine in Venezuela. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of vaccines are being thrown away in the United States because a large number of people don’t want them. It breaks my heart that so many people in this country are willing to snub the very vaccine my family would have taken in an instant.
As my family and millions of people go through the nightmare of losing their loved ones because there aren’t enough vaccines in the rest of the world, my hope is that anyone who can get vaccinated, do so today.
Don’t do it for yourself. Do it to protect those who are vulnerable, those with immune deficiencies, and all others who can get very sick if infected.
What everyone agrees on is that those who are unvaccinated can carry more of the lethal virus, and can transmit it faster and to more people, than those who got a vaccine.
To get a vaccine is an act of compassion.
I had the honor of speaking with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States, regarding COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccine.
It was a powerful conversation, full of vital information. Just go to my Instagram feed and you’ll find it next to this post subtitled into Spanish. I hope you get a chance to watch it and share it in your socials.
I also hope this interview can serve as a starting point for a conversation with the people in your life who are hesitant about getting vaccinated. I respectfully invite you to just have the conversation.
Lastly, I encourage you all to follow science and truthful information, and please, please, PLEASE…If you can, GET VACCINATED, so you can help save those around you.
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