Former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens has clarified his recent comments about Dr. Anthony Fauci repeatedly changing his COVID-19 recommendations.
Fauci, President Joe Biden's chief medical advisor, has received criticism from Republican leaders throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with some of them asking him to resign over his handling of COVID-19.
On September 3, Owens, who frequently "likes" tweets that amplify Republican talking points and that are derogatory to Democrats, offered his opinion on the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director while responding to a headline from conservative media outlet The Blaze about Fauci's recent comment that three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are likely needed for full protection.
Tim tweeted: "He changes what he says over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. So we find out masks don't work and vaccines don't work. So wear 5 masks and get 5 vaccines. ( just so you know I'm vaccinated and I wore a mask, oh yea and I've had Covid )".
The 53-year-old singer, who lives in Akron, Ohio, elaborated on his Fauci comments during a brand new interview with Sofa King Cool. When the interviewer said that it's "frustrating" to see official recommendations constantly changing, Owens said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It is frustrating. But then if you say anything about it changing every day, those people will go, 'Oh, you're anti-science 'cause you bring up that it's changing.' And it's, like, no, it just changes every day. I mean, I understand why it's changing every day: we're dealing with something that we don't know what we're dealing with."
He continued: "My girlfriend's a paramedic and my good friend's a doctor. I understand everything that goes on. But these same people that get mad at people [for pointing out the fact that recommendations are constantly changing]… If you went to [an auto mechanic] and got your car fixed, and they said, 'It's gonna be 95 dollars,' and then they called you and said, 'It's gonna be 150,' and you're, like, 'Okay.' And then you picked it up and they go, 'That's two thousand dollars you owe me.' And you're, like, 'What?' And they're, like, 'Well, we found things along the way that changed, and now it's two thousand.' Would those people be, like, 'Okay, I understand. You're a mechanic and things change'? No, they would be pissed off because it's changing.
"I think it's the way we're told," Tim explained. "We're told that this will work and then it doesn't. But instead of saying, 'This might work.' That's the issue. There was no, 'The vaccines might work.' No. When you got a vaccine originally, it was a hundred percent this was gonna clear everything up. I think it's the way it's worded [that is the problem].
"I understand things change," Owens repeated. "I got vaccinated and I wear masks when I have to, just because I wanna go back to work — I wanna tour. I got COVID last year. I had more effects from Mexican food than I did from getting COVID, but I got COVID. I believe it's there. It doesn't hurt me to wear a mask in a supermarket. But it's just things change and it's what we're told. It's crazy what's being said. So nobody knows what's going on. Right now we just wanna get some kind of normalcy. Because we do see no maks being worn when it's all right to riot and loot and protest or go to birthday parties or go to an NBA game or an NFL game or a college football game. Of course, I guess college football games, it isn't okay; now, all of a sudden, they're mad at that. We don't know what the rules are — when concerts are okay, when concerts are not okay.
"Listen, I am, like I said, vaccinated and I call myself a superspreader. Because us vaccinated people are running around town, like, 'Yeah, we're vaccinated,' spreading the shit all over the place. So, it's, like, 'Look at me go. I'm the king.' I probably killed more people last week than Charles Manson did.
"Listen, I get to say all this because I am vaccinated, I do wear a mask and I believe the COVID stuff. But I'm also not stupid to say that vaccinated people are spreading this shit all over the place."
Owens went on to say that "people should get vaccinated. I think especially if you're older or you're unhealthy or you have underlying conditions, you should get vaccinated. I want the world to go back to normal. I wanna tour. I wanna be able to go to the store now and find something on the shelf. I mean, the shelves are empty. I go to my grocery store, and they're fucking empty, man.
"It's funny 'cause you can still be pro-vaccine, believe in COVID, pro-mask, but if you say Fauci changes his mind, you get death threats. That's the way the world is now. 'Oh, you're anti-science.' No. I understand why he changes his mind, but the fucker changes his mind. I mean, one mask, two masks, three masks, eight… I mean, what do we get now? Ten vaccines to make it work? I get it why — we don't know what we're dealing with. Ten years from now, we're still gonna be learning what we're dealing with. Pretty soon, we're gonna have to have a flashing light coming out of our assholes to say that we've been vaccinated and [provide] blood samples to go get a Big Mac."
Tim stressed that he is not opposing local mandates. "I say we do anything we can now to fix things," he said. "But I think everybody's so confused. When the doctor tells people out of the gate masks don't work, and then, a month later, he says everybody wear a mask. I mean, that's the issues we have.
"This isn't about politics," he continued. "And that's the other thing: if you don't like Fauci, that means you're a Republican. If you wear a mask and believe in vaccines, that means you're a Democrat. I've got everybody fucking fucked up, because I wear a mask and got vaccinated and I don't like Fauci.
"Again, like I told you, I understand why he changes his mind. It's science. We don't understand it. Everybody's fine with that… I get it. It's science. I get why he changes things. But don't tell us. Don't come out and tell everybody, 'Masks don't work and you don't have to wear a mask.' Be a little more truthful — I think that's the issue. That's why everybody's confused."
With the original strain of the virus, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were about 90% to 95% effective in preventing symptomatic disease. As a result of the delta variant, that efficacy rate has dropped to 66%. Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that unvaccinated people are almost five times more likely to contract symptomatic COVID compared to a fully vaccinated person.
Fully vaccinated people are 29 times less likely to be hospitalized because of the virus compared to those are unvaccinated, according to a study released by the CDC this week.
Research shows that fully vaccinated people experience milder symptoms and are half as likely to develop several symptoms in the first week of illness compared to unvaccinated people.
Owens is currently in a new band called KK'S PRIEST with ex-JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing, along with guitarist A.J. Mills (HOSTILE), bassist Tony Newton (VOODOO SIX) and drummer Sean Elg (DEATHRIDERS, CAGE).
KK'S PRIEST's debut album, "Sermons Of The Sinner", will be released on October 1 via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records.