Gene Simmons says that the situation with COVID-19 has become so " life-threatening" that he favors vaccine mandates.
As cases rise nationwide due to the high number of unvaccinated Americans and the highly transmissible delta variant of the novel coronavirus, the KISS bassist/vocalist says that he supports mandatory vaccines as a potential solution.
Gene, whose bandmate Paul Stanley tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, forcing the postponement of at least three KISS shows, discussed the hot-button issue in a new interview with Marci Wiser of the 95.5 KLOS radio station. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It's shocking that people still believe — there are enough people out there who still believe it's a hoax and schmoax. And they prefer to listen to politicians of a certain political party instead of doctors and the CDC. It's fucking nuts. It's crazy."
Simmons went on to blast one of the most common arguments raised by dissenters — that vaccine mandates infringe upon unvaccinated people's human rights and civil liberties.
"The idea that somebody says 'it's my body and my choice' is so idiotic," he said. "It is not your choice, it is not your body when you come to a red light in your car. You don't have the right to go through it just 'cause you feel like it and 'don't tell me what to do.' And here's why: because the rest of the world goes on green and stops on red. Just 'cause you feel it's your right doesn't give you the right. You don't have the right to speak on a cell phone in your car, you don't have the right to not put on a seat belt — you don't have that right. You actually do not have the right to stand up in a movie theater and yell 'fire' just because you think it's freedom of speech. You don't have that right. That's called incitement to riot. There are all sorts of rights you don't have."
He added: "Should there be a mandate, which means a law, that you must get vaccinated? Yes, there should be."
Asked if he thinks a vaccine mandate is taking away freedom for people to make their own decisions about medical and health care matters, Simmons said: "What freedom? The freedom to infect everybody else? Seven hundred thousand Americans — close to it — are dead because of COVID. Of course it should be a law. As soon as you endanger other people. You do not have the right to smoke in a restaurant or in buildings — you don't have that right. You know why? Because you're endangering other people.
"Always listen to the CDC and the doctors — not stupid politicians. Not all politicians — evil, self-serving politicians of a certain party who are more interested in getting re-elected than actually saving lives. I can't tell you how furious I am. The politicians in Texas and Florida — evil, self-serving, just moronic. That includes the president of Brazil.
"You must wear a mask at all times when there are other people around," he continued. "Clearly, if you're in the pooper and you're by yourself, you're okay. But if you're in a room where there are other people, even sneezing can spread something 10 feet. Wear a mask. It's not all about you; you're trying to protect other people. Wash your hands.
"In simple terms, before COVID, if you sneezed, it wasn't life-threatening. Wouldn't you cover your mouth? When you yawn, don't you, as a courtesy, cover your mouth? And that's with non-life-threatening stuff. As a courtesy to other people. Hey, when I'm alone in bed and I'm tired and I yawn, I don't cover my mouth. Nobody's around."
In the past, Stanley has also criticized people who refused to wear a mask in public spaces to protect others from possible infection. Last December, he took to his Twitter to write: "Frankly, I've had enough of the self-serving & politically motivated mask misinformation & BS about this pandemic. I don't want to hear about 'my freedom' & 'my rights' that then infringe on so many other's. Those 'rights' & choosing to gather at Thanksgiving got us here. Wake up". Three months earlier, Paul tweeted out a CNN article about an Idaho pastor who was hospitalized with COVID-19 after calling himself a "no-masker" during a service and repeatedly questioning the veracity of coronavirus case reporting. Stanley added in a message: "YOU figure this one out. I can't. A hoax and non-existent virus has put this guy in the ICU. If you're so concerned with a loss of your freedom , Why do you stop at red lights? Don't let the government control you!! Drive right through!!! PUT YOUR MASK ON."