As Democrat Joe Biden prepares for his inauguration as the next US president on January 20, Reuters asked celebrities what would be the first thing they would do if they were elected a world leader.
Their responses ranged from a focus on climate change to healthcare and social justice.
Following is a selection of their responses, which have been edited for length and clarity:
American actor George Clooney: “Get as many rapid (coronavirus) tests as we can possibly get that are incredibly accurate so that tomorrow, within the next six weeks, you could jam something up your nose like a pregnancy test. If it turns green, you can go to school or go to a concert or go — whatever, go to the grocery store. And if it turns red, you go home...
“Then you have to deal with all of the things that we dealt with in the middle of all this, which is racial equality [...] If Covid wasn’t the main story, that would have been our main story of the year, of course. And I think we could look at gun violence as well.”
Chinese-American cellist Yo-Yo Ma: “I would take every step that’s necessary to make sure that all of the people in my country are safe.”
American actor Jamie Foxx: “After party but with masks on! Big celebration of just life and humanity but what we really, really need to do is get this pandemic under control and really respect it. And what I would tell people, I say, ‘You know we talk about God, you know we talk about Jesus, but I think that Mother Nature is trying to tell us something, that you’re not bigger than the universe and you have to respect what’s going on and what’s happening’.”
American actor Kevin Bacon: “The first thing that I would do as president is listen to science, and that is a pretty good place to start.”
American singer Josh Groban: “It would be kind of a neck and neck of social justice and saving the planet from itself. I think that those are the two most, most pressing issues of my time.”
American actor Leslie Odom Jr: “I’d probably try to find a way to get everybody some healthcare.”
American television personality Ryan Seacrest: “I would say Valentine’s Day should be a holiday.”
American musician Will.I.Am: “Zoning, that’s the thing I would look at [...] I think this is a recipe for disaster to have this type of zoning in urban communities where there’s liquor stores next to check cashing, next to bad food, next to motels, next to schools that are next to strip clubs. This is a very bad cocktail.”
American singer LeAnn Rimes: “I would tackle hunger and end poverty in this country because it’s very sad, it’s sad to see. I know a lot of people are struggling right now.”
English-American filmmaker and actor Alex Winter: “Climate change, first and foremost, which would be part and parcel of dealing with a better pandemic response and Medicare (US government health insurance) for all.”
American actor Tessa Thompson: “Making sure that people have access to healthcare. I think making sure that we are not detaining people, separating children from their families.”
British-Nigerian actor David Oyelowo: “Really put climate change at the top of the agenda. I think that the pandemic is a precursor to some of what is ahead for us if we don’t really look after this planet.”
American actor Judy Greer: “Before the pandemic, before all this (when) the world was falling apart, I would say I always wanted everyone to have to be a waiter for a month.”