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The actor recorded a 24-second video, seemingly from inside his home, in which he warned New Yorkers to continue to isolate themselves so that they don’t spread the coronavirus to at-risk people such as the elderly. The video was part of a series released by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office in its ongoing effort to stop the rapidly spreading virus from doing more damage.
“Hello, this is Robert De Niro. We all need to stay home,” the 76-year-old begins. “We need to stop the spread of this virus and we can only do it together. Not just to protect ourselves but to protect others and all the older people you love. Please… I’m watching you.”
The last line of his post seemed to be a wink at his character from the 2000 movie “Meet the Parents” in which he plays a former CIA agent who intimidates his daughter’s new boyfriend, played by Ben Stiller.
Stiller also appeared in a video for Cuomo’s campaign in which he jokingly suggested that he’ll be using his time indoors to practice chainsaw art. Although his advice for a quarantine activity was likely a joke, his tone was just as serious as De Niro’s when it came to imploring New Yorkers to stay at home to help at-risk people.
The PSA series comes days after Cuomo issued an executive order on March 22 urging New Yorkers to stay at home, effectively shuttering all non-essential businesses. The statewide mandate asks citizens to work from home and limit trips outside to essential grocery shopping, obtaining medicine and emergencies.
Exemptions for media, health care providers and financial institutions, among others, were made as well, with workers falling into the category of "essential workers." In addition, gatherings of any size are banned and all nonessential travel is strongly advised against.
Fox News' Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.