Jennifer Aniston Says Wearing a Face Mask 'Shouldn't Be a Debate' amid Coronavirus Pandemic

"If you care about human life, please... just #wearadamnmask," the actress wrote on her Instagram

jennifer aniston
Jennifer Aniston. Photo: jennifer aniston/instagram

Jennifer Aniston wants people to "wear a damn mask."

On Tuesday, the Morning Show star, 51, shared a photo of herself wearing a face mask alongside a message about slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), encouraging fans to take part in keeping each other safe from the respiratory virus.

"I understand masks are inconvenient and uncomfortable. But don’t you feel that it’s worse that businesses are shutting down... jobs are being lost... health care workers are hitting absolute exhaustion. And so many lives have been taken by this virus because we aren’t doing enough," she wrote on her Instagram.

"I really do believe in the basic goodness of people so I know we can all do this 🥰 BUT still, there are many people in our country refusing to take the necessary steps to flatten the curve, and keep each other safe," she continued. "People seem worried about their 'rights being taken away' by being asked to wear a mask. This simple and effective recommendation is being politicized at the expense of peoples’ lives. And it really shouldn’t be a debate 🙏🏼."

The Friends alum concluded, "If you care about human life, please... just #wearadamnmask 😷 and encourage those around you to do the same ❤️."

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jennifer aniston/instagram

Aniston also emphasized on her Instagram Stories that the United States have been seeing an increase of coronavirus cases, sharing a tweet reading: "We just hit 2.16 MILLION covid cases in the US. Please let that sink in & stop thinking it's safe to go out. It's not. The only reason places are starting to re open is bc the economy was crashing. NOT BECAUSE ITS SAFE. They don't give a f— about us."

"WEAR A MASK and be responsible," the actress added in the caption. "Just because things are opening doesn't mean it's safe."

In the past two weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases have gone up 80 percent, according to The New York Times. The majority of new cases are occurring in states that pushed to reopen businesses, restaurants and bars at the end of May, ahead of Memorial Day weekend, such as Florida and Texas. Both states have since decided to close bars again and have paused the rest of their plans to reopen other businesses.

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Jennifer Aniston. Jon Kopaloff/Getty

Many of the states with spiking cases, such as California, Washington, Utah and North Carolina, have decided to enact mask requirements after resisting them earlier in the pandemic. States with mask requirements, like New York and New Jersey, are continuing to see new infections decline, even amid mass protests against systemic racism and police brutality.

In May, Aniston expressed how much she'd like the pandemic to be over, posting a throwback shot of herself giving the middle finger alongside the caption: "Dear Covid...⁣You can kindly F@!k off now thank you BYE 👋🏼🖕🏼☹️ TBT."

As of Tuesday, more than 2,643,400 people in the U.S. have been infected with COVID-19 and at least 126,700 have died from coronavirus-related illness, according to a New York Times database.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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