Sammy Hagar is explaining controversial comments he made about his willingness to perform before a vaccine is discovered for the coronavirus.
The former Van Halen frontman spoke to "Rolling Stone" in May, but his comments raised eyebrows earlier this week when the outlet included them in a compilation of other artists speaking about life during the quarantine.
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“This is hard to say without stirring somebody up, but truthfully, I’d rather personally get sick and even die, if that’s what it takes,” he said. “We have to save the world and this country from this economic thing that’s going to kill more people in the long run. I would rather see everyone go back to work. If some of us have to sacrifice on that, OK. I will die for my children and my grandchildren to have a life anywhere close to the life that I had in this wonderful country.”
“I mean, how many people die on the Earth every day? I have no idea. I’m sorry to say it, but we all gotta die, man," he added.
On Thursday, Hagar, 72, clarified his comments on Instagram, pointing out how the situation with the virus is constantly evolving.
“Hey, Sammy here. Earlier in the week @rollingstone ran a compilation piece from their Quarantine Q&A series. I did that interview a month and a half ago, things change very fast right now, so I wanted to clarify and put a few things into context now,” he began.
“I did that interview May 8th when we were already several weeks into the stay-at-home, which my family and I took very seriously, and things were starting to look up, the curve was beginning to flatten. So when I was asked if I’d be comfortable enough to get back onstage before a vaccine was out, I was cautiously optimistic. I said, 'Yeah, not too soon. I want to make sure it’s not escalating. When it’s declining and seems to be going away.’”
Hagar wrote he cares about people’s health and that he hopes he will be able to perform again, as long as the proper measures are taken.
“Big picture, it’s about getting back to work in a safe and responsible way and getting this economy rolling again. I will do my part. I stand by that,” he wrote.
"I employ 200 people directly and when we tour even more. Like everything today, it’s a watch and see over the next few months but we remain cautiously optimistic that with the right improvements and safety measures in place, we might be able to play shows this year. That said, as things change, for the better or worse, we will appropriately adjust our plans.”
Hagar had scheduled a series of concerts from July through September, which have all been canceled, according to his website, with the exception of a Sept. 5 show in Lincoln, California.