In the midst of a flu outbreak that has resulted in cities like Boston declaring a state of emergency, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) didn't take kindly to a joke made by Golden Globe winner Hugh Jackman during the Jan. 13 ceremony.
Those who missed the show can see Jackman's statement embedded below. When he took to the stage to accept the Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical, he joked:
Sorry, I’m at the tail end of this flu and I was kicking myself for not getting the flu shot ... but it appears actually you don’t need one. I feel great!
A representative for the CDC told TMZ,
I don’t know if he really meant that vaccination was not a good thing to do, but each year millions become ill with influenza; more than 200,000 may be hospitalized; and between 3,000 and 49,000 will die.
The first and most important step in protecting against the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season.
It's a serious subject, Hugh, and not one that should be joked about, especially considering the state of the current U.S. flu season.
It is so bad, for example, that Boston Mayor Thomas Menino declared a state of emergency in his city on Jan. 10. In Massachusetts alone, 18 people have died because of the flu in recent weeks.
Currently, 41 states are seeing intense flu outbreaks. The flu season is early, hitting nearly five weeks earlier than normal this year.
While Jackman joked about not getting a shot, quite a few representatives of the CDC and other medical organizations have been hitting the airwaves, recommending that people -- despite the fact that the flu season is already in swing -- get the flu shot.
Watch -- but don't listen to -- Jackson's speech from Sunday night.