TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider has once again slammed President Donald Trump over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
Trump has been criticized by some parts of the media for downplaying fears about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, or actively spreading misinformation about its repercussions. Last month, he shared a viral video showing doctors spreading unsubstantiated information about the coronavirus, including that the hydroxychloroquine is a "cure for COVID." The president has also resisted wearing a mask when in public places, to much criticism from those who say he is setting a poor example for supporters and furthering the politicization wearing a mask.
Snider — who got to know Trump personally after appearing more than once on "The Celebrity Apprentice" — was asked for his opinion of Trump's coronavirus response in a new interview with Consequence Of Sound. He said (see video below): "We've been at each other's throats. The country's been split in two over so many different things. The political divide has been massive. And [this is when] you're supposed to say, 'You know what? We can argue about these other things and disagree, but this is affecting and hurting all of us. We need to come together and fight this as one people,' as Americans have done throughout history. Yet the president's response, the White House response has been to politicize it and separate us more and make it about politics instead of about joining together and helping each other. So this was an opportunity to really bring the country together over something really important, that rises above all the other B.S. in the world. And he failed to do that, and we're seeing the results.
"I live in Belize now, and Belize is a little country and we're COVID-free," he explained. "They shut the borders. They made wearing a mask mandatory — $5,000 fine first offense; prison — for real — second offense. Curfews, military police on the streets. If you're on the streets, you go to jail. [They were] arresting people on the streets if you stay out past curfew. As a result, we have no COVID.
"You have to make the punishment strong, but people were following it, and we have no COVID — we're not in fear for our lives.
"This situation required a powerful effort from the governing bodies, and [the Trump administration] failed to deliver it," Dee added.
The coronavirus pandemic upended the music industry, forcing theaters, concert halls and most live performance venues to go dark. This has had a massive economic effect on the majority of professional recording artists and performing musicians, who rely heavily on touring and live performances as their main source of income.
"The destruction that this is doing to the independent art scene, whether it's music, film, painting, whatever it is, we'll eventually recover, but I don't know when because it can't afford what's happening to it," Snider told Inlander last month. "What we're going to be left with is the corporate world that has the resources to survive, but without independent art on every level — and that's what creates the next fad, the next movement, the next style.
"It comes from independents. The independent labels, independent bands, independent venues, and they're all suffering death blows right now," he continued. "You can't stop rock 'n' roll — I've said it, and it's true, whether it be in basements, garages or bedrooms. It'll never die. But this is a very brutal blow right now. I hope we come out of it into some semblance of dignity and inspiration because we need young minds, fresh ideas."
Dee is currently promoting "For The Love Of Metal Live!", which was released on July 31 via Napalm Records. The DVD/Blu-ray and accompanying live album (available in various formats) features audio captured from several Snider festival performances worldwide — from the United States to Europe, Australia and beyond. In addition to tracks from Snider's solo catalog, like "I Am The Hurricane" and "For The Love Of Metal", TWISTED SISTER favorites such as "I Wanna Rock" and "We're Not Gonna Take It", and even a cover of AC/DC's "Highway To Hell", the audio portion of "For The Love Of Metal Live!" also features a brand new original studio track, "Prove Me Wrong".