Vocalist Sean Killian of San Francisco Bay Area thrash metallers VIO-LENCE, who was hospitalized with COVID-19 earlier in the month, has defended his decision to not take the coronavirus vaccine, saying "it's about freedom" for him.
The 57-year-old musician, who battled stage four liver cirrhosis five years ago, revealed his COVID-19 diagnosis in a social media post on August 22. He wrote at the time: "I entered the hospital to be treated for Covid. I contracted the virus from a friend who was unaware he was carrying it. I am feeling much better but my lung capacity at this time is diminished. My oxygen absorption is good and all my other symptoms have gone away. I will have a recovery period that will take some time." That same day, Killian blasted Harald Oimoen as a "coward" after the former D.R.I. bassist said that he had "no sympathy" for adults who refuse vaccination against COVID-19 and then become sick.
On August 26, Killian returned to social media to share a video update on his health, revealing that he had been discharged from the hospital after spending several days receiving medical treatment. He also denied that he was opposed to vaccination, saying (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I have been vaccinated more than anyone you probably know who hasn't been through the same shit that I've been through. Because I've been through a lot of shit. Before my [liver transplant] surgery — Jesus Christ — I couldn't count the vaccines I had to take. And there were deadlines, like if you didn't take it now, you ain't getting your surgery. So… I'm not against people getting [the vaccine].
"You wanna get the vaccine? Get the vaccine," he continued. "I support you a hundred percent. It's your choice — it's your choice. And it's not even about the vaccine for me; it's about freedom. I'm a free man. I'm internal. My freedom comes from within, not from anyone else. Nobody determines my freedom. So, don't step on my freedom — that's all. And don't step on other people's [freedom].
"I heard comments about, 'Oh, if you don't take the vaccine, you deserve what you get.' Well, guess what. Do obese people deserve to have heart disease? Should they be left out? Should smokers not be treated for lung cancer because they made these choices to do this? Obese people have heart disease, diabetes — all these things. Now, under the same analogy of, 'If you don't take the vaccine, you should suffer,' well, then those people, you should apply it to them too. Because they should suffer. But I don't believe that. I believe people should be free to do what they want. If you wanna go to fucking McDonalds and eat 20 cheeseburgers and fucking wake up in the morning and eat 20 breakfast fucking McNugget shit — whatever the fuck they serve over there, 'cause I don't eat that crap — go for it. That's your business. My business is not someone else's business. Like I said, my freedom's internal. I decide — no one else.
"I'm not anti-vaxx," Killian added. "I just make my own decisions. And freedom is the number one decision for me — to make my own choices. And I hope all of you do the same."
Sean's public revelation that he was infected with the virus came on the day that former TROUBLE singer Eric Wagner — who was also 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.