KISS may have been a subtle musical group with subtle wardrobes and subtle album names such as Lick It Up. But there was nothing subtle about what Gene Simmons, co-lead singer and co-founder of KISS, just said about politicians, anti-vaxxers, and those who remain unvaccinated in the U.S. While he was a guest on Wednesday’s episode of “TalkShopLive,” Simmons stated, “If you’re willing to walk among us unvaccinated, you are an enemy.” In this case, he was specifically referring to being unvaccinated against the Covid-19 coronavirus, you know that virus that’s been causing the ongoing pandemic.
Now, “enemy” is not a subtle word. You don’t typically call something like pineapple on pizza, people who leave the toilet seat up, or even the guy who wears a Speedo on the beach the “enemy.” To be truly considered an enemy, a person has to really be a major threat to others. So why might going unvaccinated be a major threat to others? Isn’t getting the Covid-19 vaccine simply a “personal choice,” as some politicians and anti-vaccination social media accounts have been claiming?
Well, getting the Covid-19 vaccine may be a “personal choice” if you happen to live on a island all by yourself and more importantly stay on that island. Otherwise, as long as you have a nose and mouth and interact with people without wearing a face mask, whether you get vaccinated is a decision for everyone around you. This was exemplified by the fact that Simmons’ interview with host Steve Harkins segued so quickly into talking about the unvaccinated.
In this case, “so quickly” meant right after the introduction. Once Harkins first went through Simmons’ numerous accomplishments, he kicked off the interview by asking Simmons about the band’s recently completed KISS Kruise XI. KISS Kruise XI may sound like a relative of Tom Cruise. But it was actually a October 29 to November 3, 2022, trip aboard the Norwegian Jewel ship that featured live performances by KISS.
The unvaccinated soon came up because they are like a gigantic hole in society’s pants. These days you can’t quite do anything without noticing and being affected by them. Simmons emphasized that to come on the cruise, or rather Kruise, “you had to have been vaccinated. I don’t care about your political beliefs. You are not allowed to infect anybody just because you think you’ve got rights that are delusional.” This made sense because those unvaccinated may be at significantly higher risk of being infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as I have covered previously for Forbes.
As you’ve probably seen, protesters against Covid-19 vaccination mandates have claimed that such requirements violate their “rights” and “freedoms.” But Simmons pointed out the flaws in such arguments: “You don’t have the right to go through a red light, actually the government has the right to tell you to stop.”
He went on to use another example, “If they tell you you can’t smoke in a building, you can’t smoke in a building. And that’s not because they want to take away your rights. That’s because the rest of us hate it. We don’t want to smell your smoke.”
Simmons then emphasized that Covid-19 is not just some kind of inconvenience. It has killed over 759,000 people in the U.S. and left many with persistent medical problems. “I don’t want to catch your disease. I don’t want to risk my life just because you want to go through a red light. This whole idea, this delusional, evil idea that you get to do whatever you want and the rest of the world be damned is really terrible.” In other words, people have the freedom and right to be protected against the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Simmons also criticized the politicization of the pandemic, arguing that both Democrats and Republicans are “evil” and to blame. “I don’t like either one of them,” Simmons said, with them referring to the two major political parties in the U.S. “Politics are the enemy. Humanism and humanity is what we should all be concerned about. Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Additionally, Simmons mentioned football, “I don’t care if you play football or not, stay away from evil people who don’t care about your health.” Gee, why did he err on, or perhaps Aaron, the side of mentioning football? Could it be a reference to Green Bay Packers quarter back Aaron Rodgers? Perhaps. Rodgers did say back in August that he was “immunized” yet this past week revealed that he hadn’t gotten the Covid-19 vaccine, as I covered for Forbes on Tuesday.
Although Simmons has sung the KISS hit Calling Dr. Love many times, at no point during the interview did Simmons act like he knows more than real medical doctors. Or public health experts. And it’s medical doctors and public health experts who should be guiding the response to the pandemic, not politicians with other agendas, regardless of whether they are Democrats or Republicans. The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic is a public health and scientific reality. Not guiding the response by real science unfortunately has been and will be the kiss of death and more suffering.