KISS‘ Gene Simmons has once again called out those who are sceptical about getting the coronavirus vaccine.
The bassist has long been a staunch advocate for the vaccine, and in a new interview he’s explained that he’s still of the opinion that anti-vaxxers are posing a risk to themselves and to all those around them.
“Look, I’ve always been a safe guy. I’ve never been run over by a car. But then whenever I get to the street corner, I do what I was taught, which is look both ways, cross at the green, not in between, and all that stuff. So cars never hit me — surprise!” he told iHollywoodTV.
“The pandemic is the same thing. You’ve gotta get a flu shot. If you go to school, you get all kinds of… A polio shot, all kinds of shots. Which may not be life-threatening. The pandemic and COVID could be life-threatening, especially if you have predisposed other diseases, you could die.
“A million Americans have died. Close to 10million worldwide have died because of this. I know the conspiracy idiots are telling you that it’s not true — it is. So I got vaccinated twice, then had a booster, and I’m about to get another boost.”
“This is gonna be a fact of life. Every year I go and get my flu vaccine — I get the shots. Because even though flu might not be life-threatening, I don’t wanna deal with the headaches and stuff.”
Simmons then went on to recall how he contracted COVID last year, which forced KISS to postpone several shows, but because he had taken the vaccine he wound up being fine.
“As a statement of fact, I did get COVID. We got off tour. All of us are vaccinated, and even though I was vaccinated, you can get COVID,” he said. “However, as a factoid, I had zero symptoms — because of the vaccine. So I didn’t have a runny nose, I didn’t get backaches. In fact, my appetite went up and I gained a few pounds. But that’s what happens when you have a vaccine.”
He added: “If you sit in your car, the law is you must wear a seatbelt. That’s not gonna prevent an accident from happening, but it may prevent you from having to buy a new face when it crashes into your windshield. A vaccine may not prevent you from getting COVID but may be able to prevent you from having to be in the hospital and have a tube go up your ass.
“Usually I don’t tell people what to do,” Simmons clarified. “But it is an issue if your personal decision affects other people. ‘I don’t wanna wear the colour blue’ — nobody’s gonna tell you what to do. But if you sneeze in public, don’t you put your hand in front of your face? If you’re yawning in public, don’t you cover your face? I don’t cover my face when I’m at home, ’cause there’s nobody around. And those are not life-threatening events.
He continued: “If you’re willing to cover your face when you’re sneezing, which is not a life-threatening event, why wouldn’t you get a vaccine [against COVID-19], which could be a life-threatening event for you and for others.”
This isn’t the first time Simmons has spoken out about anti-vaxxers. In August, he supported the idea that the COVID vaccine should be mandatory and criticised “evil, self-serving politicians” who he said are “more interested in getting re-elected than actually saving lives”.
In December 2020, Simmons appealed to everyone to wear a face mask, sharing a photo of KISS donning masks ahead of a virtual concert.
“Wear your masks. Even if it’s only as a courtesy,” he said. “If you yawn, or sneeze, you don’t think twice about covering your mouth. Do the rest of us a favor! Mask Up! … Besides, it looks cool.”
Simmons’ bandmate, Paul Stanley, had previously also urged people to wear masks, tweeting: “Don’t listen to conspiracy theorists or graduates of The Internet University Of Medicine.”
Meanwhile, the glam rock band have denied that lax COVID protocols were responsible for the death of long-time guitar tech Francis Stueber, who passed away last October.
KISS claimed that their protocols “met, but most often exceeded” guidelines at a national and local level while on the US leg of their farewell End of the World tour. However, some crew members have disputed that adequate measures were in place.