Ice-T says father-in-law’s COVID-19 fight should scare everyone into wearing a mask


Ice-T believes the novel coronavirus is nothing to be messed with. And if you don’t agree, well, that’s what the rapper-actor is “scared” of.

He shared details of his father-in-law’s COVID-19 struggle with Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” on Wednesday, including the fact that Steve Austin’s lungs are “damaged indefinitely” after his bout with the disease.

Ice-T, who was in New York working when the lockdowns hit, spent a little more than two months hunkered down in New Jersey before hightailing it to Arizona, where he and his family live when he’s not shooting “Law & Order: SVU.” It’s where wife Coco’s family is based.


“I hate to say it, but Coco’s dad is a Harley-Davidson-riding, no-mask-wearing type of dude. And it put him on his back,” he told Fallon.

Ice-T marveled at how, when he and his family first arrived there from the hard-hit New York-New Jersey area, so many Arizona residents weren’t wearing masks or taking other precautions. Now, he said, they are.

“When you get these numbers up, more people know people that are in the hospital, and that triggers the masks faster than anything,” he said.

Austin came down with symptoms on Father’s Day (June 21), and he fought the disease for nine days before being admitted to a hospital. He was held for three days in the ICU. That’s when the next-of-kin calls came, Ice-T said, when they were considering putting the 63-year-old on a ventilator.


“That’s when it’s scary,” Ice-T said.

“It took him a month to make it out of the hospital, God bless him. Now he’s home, but his lungs are damaged indefinitely. COVID attacks your lungs, and it can really leave your lungs ruined.”

The actor, 62, said he “put it on social media” because there are still people who don’t believe the global pandemic is a real thing. Ice-T said he knows eight people who have died from COVID-19. “I don’t need more proof than that to know I don’t want to play with it,” he added.

On Twitter, he said, one user said that the father of 4-year-old Chanel seemed like he was scared.

“I said yeah, I’m scared of your contaminated breath, OK? Is there a problem with that?,” Ice-T told Fallon.

“I don’t want to die. I’ve made it through so much in my life — I don’t want to die because of this. Especially with a new daughter. So I’m aware and I’m concerned, and I’m cautious. You want to call that scared, call it scared.”