EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt has blasted people who are hesitant to roll up their sleeves and receive the COVID-19 vaccine, saying that their refusal to get the shot is putting all of our health at risk. "If everyone would get vaccinated, [the pandemic] wouldn't have to go on," the 57-year-old musician told The Aquarian Weekly in a new interview. "People say that even when vaccinated, you could still get it. Well, if you could get a vaccine that reduces [a deadly disease] to a nasty cold, you don't have to overflow the hospitals and you wouldn't have to have the snowballing amount of problems it is causing. We could get back to normal. Unfortunately, some people are more willing to take a deworming agent than the vaccine. It is crazy. I wish people would realize that chemists, scientists, and the pharmaceutical companies are responsible for both the vaccines and the dewormer. There is no logic in the world anymore."
Holt also pointed out the fact that EXODUS has to be extra careful with exposing its members to the virus after drummer Tom Hunting underwent a total gastrectomy in July in his battle with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the stomach.
"Tom is immune compromised," Gary said. "He is done with his chemo. After his surgery, they waited enough time for his immune system to build back up and they were going to resume chemo, but after testing they told him that he did not need it. That was the best news we could have received, but right now, we want him at full strength before we immerse him in a petri dish of people."
Earlier this month, EXODUS singer Steve "Zetro" Souza railed against the federal and local vaccine mandates that have been implemented across the U.S. over the past few weeks, telling Australia's "Scars And Guitars" podcast (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "They're forcing you to get a vaccine. Do we live in a socialist society? What happened to 'my body, my choice'? I don't understand it. And it's not about the vaccine not being effective or whatever; it's about the choice that you're telling me to. We're playing a concert with TESTAMENT and DEATH ANGEL in Oakland, California [at the end of November]. You have to show proof of vaccination to even come in. I think that's socialist right there. That's bullshit. What about people that have AIDS? What if people have Hep C? How come they don't have to show [any kind of proof]…? To me, it's like anything else — why is this all of a sudden [something that] the government can mandate you?"
Souza, who was a vocal supporter of former U.S. president Donald Trump, clarified that he is not denying that COVID-19 exists and he is not denying that it's transmissible. "Yes, it's real. Yes, it kills people," he said. "It's no worse than the flu, though. You can't shut the world down. You can't ruin people's businesses that they built. Little mom-and-pop donut shops, how are they supposed to survive? I'm just using that as an example. My take is you cannot run from something. You need to hit it head-on. And once you hit it head-on, you're gonna beat it. You're gonna beat it. [But instead they are, like], 'Let's keep locking it down. Let's not do it anymore. Let's [postpone] the festivals till next year, and then the next year, and then the next year.' Just do it. What are you gonna do? Hide from this thing your whole life? It's been two years now — two years. It's fucking November. The shit hit in fucking December '19. I know 'cause I was in Europe when it went down. I had to fly home in the beginning of March .
"Get it together, people," he concluded. "I just don't think our governments or our officials or the heads of the world really know what they're doing or know what to do with this. I wish they would just say they don't instead of trying to act like they do."
STAIND frontman Aaron Lewis recently said that he beat COVID-19 by taking ivermectin, a drug with no evidence of being a safe or effective treatment for the novel coronavirus. Back in May, fellow conservative rocker Ted Nugent revealed that he also used ivermectin, along with hydroxychloroquine and various vitamins, in his battle with COVID-19. A few weeks ago, podcaster Joe Rogan sparked backlash when he said that he had taken Z-Pak, prednisolone and ivermectin following his own coronavirus diagnosis.
Vaccines against COVID-19 have proven to be a safe and effective tool in fighting the virus that's killed more than 775,000 Americans.
In recent months, ivermectin has become a popular medication to treat COVID-19 among people who oppose vaccinations.
While ivermectin is used to treat horses for parasites and worms, it has been approved for human use to treat infections such as head lice and skin conditions like rosacea.
The Food and Drug Administration has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID-19 in humans and has warned against taking the veterinary form of the drug. The FDA said clinical trials are ongoing but currently available data does not show ivermectin is safe or effective against the virus.
There are only three vaccines approved by the FDA to prevent COVID-19: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
EXODUS's new album, "Persona Non Grata", was released on November 19 via Nuclear Blast Records.