REO Speedwagon to COVID Deniers: ‘Call Me Back When You Catch It’
REO Speedwagon frontman Kevin Cronin has responded to online commenters questioning the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The band recently canceled two shows after members of the REO Speedwagon team were diagnosed with the virus. In a message posted to Facebook, Cronin updated fans on his health.
“As I sit alone in quarantine, dealing with the reduced, yet uncomfortable symptoms of Covid-19, and reading the comments regarding the shows we made the painful decision to cancel this weekend, I am struck by two things,” the frontman began. “First, on behalf of myself, our entire band, crew, and management, I would like to thank the majority of people whose comments were understanding, supportive, and empathetic. I am so touched by the outpouring of positive energy. You are awesome.”
Cronin’s second thought was less positive.
“Second, I have never personally responded to Facebook comments in the past. But as our band goes through this difficult period, the thoughtless, misinformed, and nasty comments I read this morning pushed my patience over the edge,” the rocker admitted. “I encourage lively discussion of differences of opinion. That is part of what makes the United States the Golden Country. But our organization is living through Covid, and to hear people spouting ridiculous conspiracy theories, is more than I can bear right now.”
The REO Speedwagon frontman then focussed his message squarely at the aforementioned conspiracy theorists.
“To those people: Call me back when you catch it. If you are not vaccinated you are in for a world of hurt. And if you take the vaccine, while you can still test positive, your experience will likely be mild by comparison.”
The rocker closed his post by noting that he and his band’s protocol regarding COVID has nothing tho do with their personal political opinions.
“This is a difficult medical, public health and safety issue. Within the REO organization there is a wide spectrum of political views. To connect our decision to cancel shows to some political agenda is absurd, insulting, and quite simply wrong,” Cronin remarked.
REO Speedwagon is scheduled to resume their tour on Aug. 20 in Boise, Idaho. In an interview with UCR conducted on July 29 (prior to the COVID cases within the band) Cronin stressed the importance of safety amid the pandemic.
"People are just so excited to have live music back. It’s been great for us so far. Hopefully, the rest of the country starts to wake up and get vaccinated so this virus doesn’t take over and shut everything down again," the frontman opined. "I’d like to encourage people to not look at the COVID19 vaccination as anything further than doing the best thing you can do for yourself and for your fellow Americans. Don’t take it any further than that. Don’t make it into anything else but a public health and safety issue. That’s my message to Americans."