Sammy Hagar says his recently-published comments on reopening the economy before there is a proven COVID-19 vaccine were premature.
In an article published this week by Rolling Stone, Hagar is quoted as suggesting that the novel coronavirus pandemic's economic implications are more dangerous than the threat the virus poses to public health.
On Thursday, state health departments in the U.S. collectively reported the largest confirmed single-day surge in coronavirus infections ever. The startling reports are the latest sign that the virus, which is blamed for more than 126,000 deaths this year in the U.S. alone, presents a clear and present danger.
Hagar released a follow-up statement Friday morning, explaining that the interview in question was done on six weeks ago, when the virus appeared to be on the wane in America. A lot has changed since then as many states have relaxed restrictions on social distancing that have been proven to reduce transmission of the virus.
"I did that interview May 8th when we were already several weeks into the stay-at-home [order], which my family and I took very seriously, and things were starting to look up, the curve was beginning to flatten," Hagar said. "So when I was asked if I'd be comfortable enough to get back onstage before a vaccine was out, I was cautiously optimistic. I said, 'Yeah, not too soon. I want to make sure it's not escalating. When it's declining and seems to be going away."
He added that he employs at least 200 people directly, and more when he's on the road. Last fall, Hagar announced that 2020 would be his busiest year of touring in a decade and would probably also be one of his last large-scale treks.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer concluded that he's still hopeful live concerts will resume later this year, but that can't happen with a deadly airborne virus running rampant.
"Big picture, it's about getting back to work in a safe and responsible way and getting this economy rolling again. I will do my part," he said. "...Like everything today, it's a watch and see over the next few months but we remain cautiously optimistic that with the right improvements and safety measures in place, we might be able to play shows this year. That said, as things change, for the better or worse, we will appropriately adjust our plans."
Hagar & the Circle's summer tour with Night Ranger was canceled in May due to the pandemic.
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