Ted Nugent has suggested the novel coronavirus is referred to as COVID-19 because there have been 18 other coronaviruses.
The outspoken conservative rocker's factual error was part of his Facebook Live stream earlier today (Wednesday, April 7) in which he lamented the cancelation of musical shows in 2020 and 2021 because the pandemic forced restrictions on large public gatherings.
"This year's tour is canceled again," Nugent said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "The production companies won't let us tour again this year. Dirty bastard, lying, scam, smoke-and-mirrors COVID-19 freaks.
"You know, I guess I would ask you, because I'm addicted to truth, logic and common sense, and my common sense meter would demand the answer to, why weren't we shut down for COVID-1 through -18?" he continued. "There was a COVID-1, and there was a COVID-2, -3, -4, -5, -6, -7, -8, -9, -10, -11, -12, -13, -14, -15, -16, -17, -18. COVID-1 through -18 didn't shut anything down, but woah, COVID-19 [did], even though it's 99.8 percent survivable. Why didn't we shut down for the AIDS epidemic or the flu or the Spanish Flu or the bird flu or the West Nile flu or influenza every year?"
Nugent also once again repeated a narrative pushed by conservative media and disputed by health experts that suggests the official death count from the coronavirus is inflated.
"They claim five hundred thousand people have died from COVID-19," he said. "Bullshit. I believe that medical examiners in all 50 states have gone, 'I put down on the death certificate that he died of asphyxiation, but they made me put COVID.' 'Well, this guy was stabbed to death, but they made me put down COVID.' 'This guy was run over by a tandem gravel truck doing a four-wheel drift and the crows be pecking at your flesh, but they made me put down COVID-19.'"
COVID-19 is short for Coronavirus Disease 2019, which is the year it was identified. The World Health Organization announced the name in February 2020.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "CO" stands for "corona," "VI" stands for "virus," and "D" stands for "disease." Before the WHO formalized a name for the disease, it was referred to as the "2019 novel coronavirus" or "2019-nCoV."
In December, Nugent said that he would refuse to be vaccinated against the new coronavirus and he railed against pharmaceutical companies and their development of the vaccine. "A vaccine that was authorized in four months compared to every other vaccine that took years of adequate testing. Have you seen what's in it?" he said earlier this month.
Nugent has repeatedly expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of face masks during the pandemic and has mocked those who wear them, despite that both the CDC and World Health Organization have urged their universal use.
Leading up to the 2020 presidential election, Nugent teamed up with Donald Trump Jr. on the campaign trail.
Ted has called Donald Trump "the greatest president in our lifetime," and has said that the billionaire real estate mogul represents "the heart and soul of the best American families out there."