Don Dokken has expressed his frustration over the fact that many Americans are still refusing to acknowledge the viral threat posed by the novel coronavirus.
The singer made his comments as DOKKEN is preparing to play a couple of socially distanced concerts this month — one in Roanoke, Virginia and the other in Hot Springs, Arkansas — that will feature special guest guitarist Reb Beach (WINGER, WHITESNAKE).
"The Arkansas venue has staged at least two concerts there already with six-feet social distancing in an open field, and I've been assured that it will be safe," Don told RushOnRock. "They check everybody's temperature going into the show, and we won't be having any contact with people outside of our group. There's more of a risk from me contracting COVID-19 as a result of flying. I know that's a risk, but in this case, I'm prepared to take it.
"This thing isn't going anywhere fast and we can't shut ourselves away forever," he continued. "But people are stupid, as far as I'm concerned. All this protesting and marching with no masks on meant the virus was bound to spike. Everyone's suddenly going to the beaches again without any social distancing.
"The scientists warned everybody what would happen," Don added. "They told us that if we didn't wear masks and stick to social distancing, then this would be a big problem. And we've got an idiot president who won't even wear a mask. When the president of your own country won't wear a mask, what message does that send out to everyone else?
"I understand that people are frustrated. But we have to do this properly or it won't go away anytime soon."
Last month, Dokken told Myglobalmind that DOKKEN's upcoming follow-up to 2012's "Broken Bones" album will include a track about America's 45th president.
"Whether you are a fan of Trump or not, I see him as a little unhinged and trying to take over the planet, so I wrote a song called 'Hail To The King' about him," Don said. "He has a king mentality.
"I'm not a political person at all — I don't get involved in politics — but when you see the craziness of the government and the guy firing his people daily, like the attorney general and the prosecutor, it's bizarre," he laughed. "I wrote a tongue-in-cheek song about a guy who is running the country and feels he has no limitations or rules. That he can do whatever he wants like a king."
DOKKEN's new studio album will be released via Silver Lining Music, the label owned by Thomas Jensen, one of the founders of Germany's Wacken Open Air festival.