Spock's Vulcan salute as greeting reportedly spreads to Congress

Some Star Trek actors also are on board, but William Shatner has a different idea.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, generational studies. Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper

Mr. Spock shows how to deliver a sanitary greeting.


Mr. Spock's Vulcan salute reportedly has moved into the halls of Congress. Lawmakers were advised on coronavirus risks by a physician during a closed-door meeting of the House Democratic caucus on Tuesday, and one piece of advice is familiar to CNET readers. The physician told lawmakers to consider using Spock's Star Trek Vulcan salute as a safe alternative to handshaking, CNN reported.

Yep, the iconic split-finger salute that Leonard Nimoy made famous, taking inspiration from a Jewish blessing -- and which we recommended last week as a sanitary greeting in these days of coronavirus -- has made it to Capitol Hill. The physician speaking to the House Democrats referred to the greeting as the "live long and prosper sign," Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips told CNN. Phillips did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Former Star Trek actors seem to be down with it, too. George Takei, who played Sulu on the original series, has tweeted about it. Actor Robert Picardo, who played The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager, retweeted the CNET story on using the Vulcan salute, and actor Wil Wheaton, who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, posted it to Facebook, writing, "I am all kinds of on board with this."

But William Shatner, whose Captain Kirk character did the Vulcan salute a time or two on the original Star Trek, has a different option. "I don't usually handshake," the actor wrote on Twitter. "Sometimes fist bump."

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