Gina Carano is at it again.
After being fired from the hit Disney+ show “The Mandalorian” for comparing the plight of Republicans living in President Joe Biden’s America to the experience of being Jewish in Nazi Germany, Carano continues to stir up controversy on social media with her uneducated statements about the COVID-19 pandemic. Most recently, the former MMA fighter compared mandatory COVID-19 vaccine passports to the beginning of the HIV epidemic in the 1980s.
“Imagine it’s 1981 and the government has mandated that all LGBTQ people have to show papers proving they aren’t HIV positive or they won’t be allowed on planes, into concerts or to dine at restaurants,” Carano posted on her social media accounts. “Read that again.”
The first cases of HIV/AIDS was reported in the United States in 1981 after healthy people began suffering fatal collapses to their immune system. In those early days, there was no treatment or prevention, only fear, discrimination and stigma. HIV was closely linked with negative attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community, particularly gay men who were disproportionately affected by HIV and AIDS. They were singled out for abuse and were held responsible for the spread of the epidemic, with some referring to it as the “gay plague.”
Scientific advances, such as the development of antiretroviral drugs, have enabled people with access to treatment to live long and healthy lives with HIV. Since the beginning of the epidemic, more than 70 million people have acquired the infection, and about 35 million people have died.
Unlike HIV, the coronavirus can be controlled by public health means. HIV/AIDS is transmitted sexually or through contaminated needles, and those infected are potentially contagious to others for significantly longer than those who contract the coronavirus. COVID-19 is airborne and therefore can be contained by basic behaviors such as face masks, social distancing, vaccines and isolation. HIV, on the other hand, has not been contained, with around 37 million worldwide living with HIV, 22 million of whom are on treatment.
This is not the first time that Carano has posted misguided or outright ignorant statements online. The hashtag #FireGinaCarano was trending on social media in November 2020 after Carano posted a series of anti-mask memes along with disinformation that disputed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. In the past, she has posted about QAnon, the far-right conspiracy theory that claims a cabal of elite pedophiles made up of Hollywood actors, Democrats, and other high-ranking officials is behind a global child sex-trafficking ring. The conspiracy movement asserts that Trump is currently fighting the cabal and is planning a day of reckoning known as “The Storm.” The Federal Bureau of Investigation has labeled the movement a “potential domestic terror threat.”
Several months ago, Carano added “boop/bop/beep” to her Twitter name in a poor attempt to mock the use of preferred gender pronouns. Preferred gender pronouns are those pronouns that an individual prefers people use when referring to them. The most common gender pronouns are “he, him, his” and “she, her, hers,” while transgender and gender nonconforming people may prefer to use pronouns that better reflect their identity, such as “they, them, theirs.”