KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons has blasted people who are defiantly skeptical of mask wearing, saying that their refusal to follow the rules is putting all of our health at risk.
The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention has emphasized social distancing for the general population and self-quarantine for people with COVID-19 symptoms.
In a new interview with Edmonton, Alberta, Canada's K-97 radio station, Simmons said that he wants everyone to stop complaining when it comes to being in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, because it's actually not that hard to just stay at home.
"Right now, the pandemic is not fun," he said (hear audio below). "It is devastating for families who've lost loved ones. A million people are dead around the world — two hundred thousand dead in America, and many, many fewer — thank God — in Canada, because you're more sane and more, sort of, non-political about it. But as you can tell, in America, there are areas where certain segments of the population see health and wearing a mask, or not wearing a mask, as political, and that's a shame. It just makes sense.
"In either case, the perspective is my mother lived through World War II," he continued. "My mother was a victim of the concentration camps of Nazi Germany when she was 14 years old. My mother survived. The rest of our family were wiped out, and you don't wanna get into that.
"The great generation, we call them, of the last century had many wars — over a hundred million people died in World War II. There were food shortages in America. There were many countries in the world that couldn't feed their population. And at the turn of the 20th Century, there was a flu epidemic where, again, 50 million people died from it. Now we're being asked to stay in our homes and quarantine for two weeks, and you order room service, or somebody brings you food exactly the way you like it. FedEx brings you, or UPS brings you, whatever you like.
"I understand the job rates are not good — there are people who are losing the way they support their families," Gene added. "I get it. And governments are being sort of smart about it — stimulus packages and so on. But to compare today to what went on before is… C'mon! The older folks, your grandparents are looking at you like you're on crack."
Simmons also spoke in more detail about the resistance to mask-wearing edicts at places like grocery stores and retail stores, with some store customers reacting negatively when approached by staff who request them to "mask up," and customers attacking other customers for non-compliance to wearing masks.
"Be kind to each other," Gene said. "C'mon! Seeing these YouTube and TMZ videos of everybody going insane. I know the nerves are up, 'cause we're all scared — what's gonna happen and all that stuff. It's okay. The sun is gonna come out one of these days. It's all gonna get better. And just be kind to each other. That doesn't take much effort. And wear your goddamn masks. It ain't about you.
"If you sneeze, you put your hand over your mouth," he explained. "Why wouldn't you cover your face for something that might be life-threatening. 'Well, you can't tell me what to do.' Actually, you get told what to do all the time. When there's a red light, you're told to stop the car. 'Well, I don't wanna stop the car.' It's not about you. 'Cause if you go through a red light, you're gonna kill somebody, possibly. So when there's a red light, you're told to stop.
"Wear a goddamn mask. It's not about you; it's about the rest of us," he reiterated.
This past summer, the U.S. Surgeon General urged people to wear face coverings, saying they will promote freedom during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a study published in June, researchers from Texas A&M University, the California Institute of Technology and the University of California San Diego, concluded "that wearing of face masks in public corresponds to the most effective means to prevent interhuman transmission."
President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday after refusing to follow his own government's public health advice to wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a recent New York Times poll, a majority (59 percent) of Donald Trump voters support requiring masks (only 18 percent are opposed), and 81 percent of Trump voters who support mandatory masking think Trump does as well.