Country and Western Opinions on COVID-19
If you need someone to put your trust in when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, I vote for a certain popular, country-western singer who believes a mystic who told him that an African American medicine man “hoodoo doctor” was stabbed and beaten to death on the singer’s future property in 1875 and that the singer had heard voices that belonged to the murderer’s angry spirits.
The country-western singer, James Tritt, who has received two Grammy Awards, and who obviously has a few loose screws rattling around in his country western noggin, is refusing to perform in venues that require fans to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19, masks or negative coronavirus tests. Now there’s a guy who’s putting his money where his mouth is even if his brain is not functioning very well behind his mouth and while I don’t know how much he makes, I assumed he made around as much as fellow star country-western singer, Jason Aldean, who earned an estimated $43.5 million in 2015, according to Forbes.
So Tritt is really sacrificing by not performing a few concerts beause they require masks, vaccinations or negative COVID-19 tests. What’s unfortunate is that Tritt has a very deep fan base, many who most certainly listen closely to what he has to say, as stupid as that may be. Tritt’s public show of ignorance is probably not as bad as it seems as his cancelled shows are in Muncie, Ind.; Philadelphia, Miss.; Peoria, Ill.; and Louisville, Ky., states where anti-vaxxers are rampant as is COVID-19 cases and deaths. Tritt’s wrongheaded position on vaccinations is contrary to such major ethical and intelligent artists as the Foo Fighters and Bruce Springsteen who have performed only where audiences were required to show proof of vaccination. In the Washington, D.C. area, nearly every major concert venue is requiring proof of vaccination or negative test results, including outdoor ones. Bu not so much in the red states.
Tritt said that “pushing Covid testing protocols on my fans will not be tolerated” and that he is “not against the vaccine” but is “against forcing people to take medicine that they may not need and may not want.” I would add that by being “against forcing people to take medicine that they may not need and may not want” Tritt may very likely be responsible for spreading the deadly virus.
Tritt laid out his position, where else, but on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show.
“They are being turned away for some unexplained reason,” Tritt said of venues that require sane measures to fight the spread of COVID-19, “so this is not about following the science or trying to look out for the safety of the people there.” Excuse me, but this is exactly about science and is not about “unexplained” reason. The scientific studies are clear about the need to take steps to avoid the spread of new virus forms.
Tritt, 58, is certainly not the first celebrity to spout off on something he knows zero about, namely the proven scientific basis of the vaccine. Others who have used their high place in pop culture to spread ridiculous ideas nclude anti-vaxer superstar Eric Clapton, who should know better, who teamed up for Van Morrison’s anti-lockdown song, “Stand and Deliver,” in December 2020. van Morrison is a longtime weirdo so his positions on vaccinations seem in character but I expected more from Clapton.
Clapton announced over the summer that he would not perform at venues that require proof of coronavirus vaccination for people to attend but he changed course last month when he played a show at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. Clapton saved face by citing a loophole in the city’s mandate that all staff and attendees older than 12 were required to show proof that they were at least partially vaccinated or had a negative coronavirus test taken in the past 72 hours. Could there be a profit motive here somewhere? I would guess so.
Comedian and Saturday Night Live alum Jim Breuer also said he was canceling shows where proof of vaccination was required because getting vaccinated should be a “choice” and that patrons are being “forced” and “bribed” before they can attend shows. I don’t understand how requiring proof of vaccination from a deadly disease is being “forced” and I really don’t believe that people should have a “choice” about whether they put others in potential deadly jeopardy or not. And I thought Breuer was a pretty smart guy. Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving also is also standing up to science and has refused to get vaccinated, meaning he will miss games and practices. But this is the same guy who was an avowed flat earther.
County western singer Jason Aldean has spoken out against vaccination and mask mandates. Not for nothing, but Aldean owns a hunting company called Buck Commander, in partnership with former Major League Baseball players Adam LaRoche, Ryan Langerhans, and Tom Martin; Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty; and fellow country singer Luke Bryan and Forbes estimated in 2015 that Aldean’s annual income was $43.5 million.
Another country western star, Carrie Underwood, garnered widespread criticism after she publicly “liked” a video on Twitter of conservative commentator Matt Walsh who compared mask mandates for kids in schools to child abuse.
Back to Tritt, in 2015, he was on Lifetime network’s “The Haunting of,” to discuss his supposed experiences with the paranormal, including being awoken regularly by disembodied voices speaking in an unknown dialect. (It was probably Yiddish). His wife, Theresa, eventually heard the same voices and Tritt also said that he saw footprints in the carpet of his cabin and imprints on his bedspread, that did not belong to him or his wife. During his appearance on the show, the host concluded that the voices were likely from the murdered hoodoo doctor. And this is about a performer who is passing on an anti-vaxxer message.
And along the same lines, Tritt is a Republican, a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights and capital punishment and in September 2020, Tritt and Republican actor James Woods tried to counteract anti-GOP criticism by blocking random Twitter users from using pro-Black Lives Matter and other anti-trump tags in their posts.
On September 28, 2021, Tritt made a cameo appearance on “Loudfer with Louder,” by conservative commentator Steven Crowder, who has been criticized for homophobic and racist commentary.
So trust the opinions and guidance of these people at your own peril. I won’t.