Former D.R.I. bassist Harald Oimoen has apologized to VIO-LENCE singer Sean Killian for saying that he had "no sympathy" for adults who refuse vaccination against COVID-19 and then become sick.
On Sunday (August 22), Killian revealed that he been hospitalized with COVID-19 after contracting he virus "from a friend who was unaware he was carrying it." The 57-year-old musician, who battled stage four liver cirrhosis five years ago, added that his "lung capacity at this time is diminished" and indicated that he "will have a recovery period that will take some time."
A short time later, Oimoen, who is perhaps best known as one of the photographers behind the 2012 photojournal book "Murder In The Front Row" which chronicled the 1980s San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal scene, took to his Facebook page to write: "Hmmmmm .... I really don't wanna piss anybody off .... however the vocalist of a very popular local legendary ( almost !) thrash band just contracted the virus !! He is a totally anti vaccination kinda guy !"
He added: "I have absolutely no sympathy for anyone who gets the virus but refuses to get vaccinated !!! Kinda ironic and perfect punishment for being soooo ignorant !!"
Harald's comments prompted a quick response from Killian, who shared Oimoen's post and added in an accompanying message: "This is what Harold Oimen [sic] just posted about me. When an individual's mind is so poisoned by the need to confirm their affiliation with a group that they use others misfortune to do it says a lot about that person. I considered Harold a friend once but no longer. If he had any integrity he would have contacted me directly and we could have had an open conversation. We have known each other for decades. Your a coward Harold don't ever consider yourself my friend again. When you see me in public, and you will, avoid me like a storm sent from Hell because that is what you'll be facing."
Late last night (Monday, August 23), Oimoen returned to his Facebook to write: "I'd like to publicly apologize to Sean Killian for my callous and uncalled for rant !! I've known Sean for 35+ years and even performed at his benefit show !! I should keep my opinions to my self !! I love our scene here in the Bay Area and deeply care for all my friends !!
"This has gotten way outta hand & never dreamed my comment would blow up like this !! I don't know WTF I was thinking .... Life is way too short & fragile to even waste time on bullshit like this !! It was mean spirited & uncalled for ! There is enough schism in the world right now & I shouldn't be making it worse !
"So bummed we lost Eric Wagner who was a way cool guy !
"Get well soon Sean and now we're even for the time you trashed my house with Baloff & Fred Cotton !! Truly sorry brother !"
Oimoen's initial post drew reactions from several other members of the Bay Area metal community, including Killian's bandmate, VIO-LENCE drummer Perry Strickland, who wrote: "We all stand by our choices !and Sean ! 100 [percent]" Former TESTAMENT bassist Greg Christian also chimed in, writing: "In my humble opinion, I don't think this needed to be said. Regardless of the irony. He's a human being, and an old friend - with fragile health to begin with. Why would you want to gloat or take pleasure in him getting sick? What if, God forbid, he were to end up dying from this? How would you feel about this post then? I know, it's social media. I get it. But this whole social media experience is making us all callous. It is what it is, but hey we really should at least try to not celebrate when people we know catch a potentially dangerous disease. Ya know?"
Sean's public revelation that he was infected with the virus came on the day that former TROUBLE singer Eric Wagner — who was also reportedly unvaccinated — died after a battle with COVID pneumonia.
Unvaccinated people are more likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19 than people who are fully vaccinated.
Infectious disease experts have said that large-scale outbreaks among unvaccinated people are being fueled by the highly contagious delta variant.
Killian underwent a successful liver transplant surgery in March 2018. The year before, Killian was diagnosed with stage four liver cirrhosis, which was caused in part by a genetic condition called hemochromatosis.