View this post on Instagram
Gay actor Javier Muñoz, who found fame on Broadway with his portrayal of Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton, and was also in the recent In The Heights, is among those to respond to fellow Broadway star Laura Osnes’s refusal to get the Covid vaccine.
Osnes shot to fame on the 2008 talent search, Grease: You’re the One That I Want!. She has since enjoyed a hugely successful Broadway career.
Her vaccine views became public after it emerged she would not be appearing in a one-off performance. Five days ago, Page Six alleged she had been fired from a one-night production of Crazy For You at the Guild Hall in East Hampton on Aug. 29.
This week Osnes said this was not true, and she had chosen not to participate when it became clear the production wanted all performers to be vaccinated. Osnes wrote a letter, which she posted to Instagram, explaining her decision.
She said that upon learning she would have to provide proof of vaccine, she was “disappointed” and “responded that I would have to withdraw.” She said no other cast members “pressed her” on the matter, and said she was not offered the option of providing a negative Covid test.
“It is a legal right of all Americans to have their medical privacy protected. Mine has now been broadcast with an attitude of shame and demonization,” she said.
“I believe individuals have the right to do the research, consult a doctor, and come to their own conclusions before deciding whether or not to get any injections.”
“My case is personal. I stand by the decision my husband [photographer Nathan Johnson] and I, with input from our physician, have made for ourselves, our family planning, and our future.
“Someday, perhaps we will feel more confident in the research to consider a different position.”
Muñoz, who lives with HIV, responded on his own Instagram yesterday.
View this post on Instagram
“Laura, I took a little time to gather my thoughts before acknowledging your now very public choices regarding the Covid vaccine,” he began. “I’m not going to shame you here; shame never helps, as I’ve witnessed in my work regarding HIV/AIDS. I’m not writing this in anger as everyone has already, justifiably, shared their anger. I’m just going to share this…
“I have spent lockdown with my roommate. We decided that together was better for our mental and emotional health than alone. Both my roommate and I are fully vaccinated; (As you may know, I am doubly immunocompromised).
“Last month my roommate contracted a breakthrough infection and tested positive for Covid. We took all necessary precautions, we both quarantined (as I did not want to chance infecting anyone else due to my exposure), and not only did I NOT test positive for Covid throughout that entire experience, my roommate only had symptoms for a few days and recovered quickly and fully. Pretty amazing, in my opinion, and definitely thanks to the vaccine. The vaccines work Laura. They work. They save lives.
“Now, I won’t try to tell you what to do. This is absolutely your choice. What I will do is stand by our industry mandating vaccinations for all cast members and crew. I will stand by our industry requiring vaccinations for all audience members. (thank you Broadway League).
“Personally I’ve lost six loved ones to Covid. I’ve spent the majority of this year at memorials, finally getting to hug others and mourn together. So I am deeply grateful to our industry for taking this stand.
“I thank you for your open letter to us all, I ‘liked’ it and appreciated your honesty. I offer more conversation to you. I’m not here to shame you. As I mentioned earlier, I have never seen shame be effective. Ever. And after all my losses, my heart is too heavy right now for that particular kind of negativity.
“But I can offer my personal testimony and I am willing to listen. But ultimately I hope you reconsider. I truly do.”
This week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Key to NYC” plan took effect. It requires proof of at least partial vaccination at indoor dining, entertainment, and fitness facilities across the five boroughs, and basically prohibits the unvaccinated from participating in many activities.
It was recently announced that more than 99.99% of people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 have not had a breakthrough case resulting in hospitalization or death.
According to a CNN analysis of CDC data, as of August 2, “more than 164 million people in the United States were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 … Fewer than 0.001% of those individuals — 1,507 people — died and fewer than 0.005% — 7,101 people — were hospitalized with Covid-19.”