Hollywood actor Edgar Ramirez has called for people to get vaccinated against Covid-19 after revealing his aunt, uncle and a family friend all died over the weekend after testing positive for the virus.
The Venezuelan star, known for roles in Zero Dark Thirty, Carlos and Jungle Cruise, said “at times I feel like it is a nightmare from which I am going to wake up, but I know it is not”.
He said his aunt, named Lucy, died on Saturday while his uncle, Guillermo, collapsed and died on Sunday.
A family friend also died after months of battling complications from the virus, Ramirez told his almost four million Instagram followers.
Ramirez said the deaths came a month after Covid took the life of his grandmother and four months since his Venezuelan agent died as a result of the virus.
All four were unvaccinated as they did not have access to the jab, the 44-year-old said.
In a lengthy statement shared on Instagram, he said: “My heart can’t just take more pain. I am sad, I am frustrated, I am devastated. It’s been weeks and weeks of my family being played, tortured and jerked around by this cruel, treacherous and violent disease which mercilessly ended up killing them all.
“I can’t stand this void in my chest, this metallic taste in my mouth, this crippling headache that doesn’t seem to soothe.
“These waves of hopelessness that I refuse to let take root in my soul.”
Ramirez decried a shortage of vaccines in his home country while “tens of thousands of vaccines are being thrown away in the United States because a large number of people don’t want them”.
He added: “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.”
Ramirez, who starred in acclaimed 2018 miniseries The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, described getting vaccinated as being “an act of compassion”.
He had earlier shared a video chat with Dr Anthony Fauci, the top Covid adviser in the US.
About 63% of Americans aged 18 and over are fully vaccinated, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
Parts of the US are experiencing a surge in the virus, which had appeared to be on the retreat at the beginning of summer.