(Reuters) - Comedian Chris Rock and actress Rosie Perez made a surprise appearance at New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's daily news conference to underscore his message that the public should wear masks to help curb the coronavirus pandemic.
The celebrities, both of whom grew up in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, said they would take part in public service campaigns urging New Yorkers to take the pandemic seriously, wear masks and take other steps to prevent the spread of the sometimes fatal virus.
Rock said he was seeing about 40 percent of people in Brooklyn wearing masks.
"It’s the kids who really aren't wearing a mask, and you know, it’s sad," he said. "It’s sad that our health has become, you know, a sort of political issue ... It’s a status symbol, almost, to not wear a mask."
Perez briefly spoke in Spanish.
"To mi gente, wear a mask, please," she said. "The numbers in our communities are staggering. This is not a joke. This is not a hoax. This is real."
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by David Gregorio)