“Jungle Cruise” star Édgar Ramírez revealed on Wednesday the devastating toll COVID-19 has taken on his family in Venezuela and begged people in the U.S. to get the vaccines that are readily available to them.
In an emotional Instagram post, the Venezuelan actor said his aunt died on Saturday followed by his uncle on Sunday and a dear friend on Monday, all from COVID-19.
“At times I feel like it is a nightmare from which I am going to wake up, but I know it is not,” he wrote.
The deaths came just over a month after his grandmother succumbed to the disease. Four months earlier, his close friend and agent also died from COVID-19, Ramírez said.
“None of them had access to a vaccine in Venezuela,” Ramírez said. “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.”
The vaccine rollout in Venezuela, which has a population of around 29 million, has been slow and disorganized. According to the Reuters vaccine tracker, just under 4.7 million doses have been administered there, enough to have fully vaccinated around 8.2% of the population.
Venezuela has reported 326,522 infections and 3,909 deaths from COVID-19, though some experts say the true figures are higher due to a lack of testing and transparency.
As his family and millions of others around the world endure the nightmare of losing loved ones to the virus due to lack of vaccines, Ramírez said he hoped everyone who could get vaccinated would 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,” he wrote. “To get a vaccine is an act of compassion.”
Ramírez also directed his followers to view his subsequent post, in which he interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, about some commonly asked questions about COVID-19 and vaccinations: