Ted Nugent has spent the past year as one of the many COVID deniers in the Republican party. He has called the virus a “scam” and “not a real pandemic.” He’s even questioned whether half a million really died from coronavirus, calling it “bullsh**.” As for the vaccine, the rocker proclaimed “that’s not a real vaccine. I’m sorry. I ain’t taking no vaccine.”
Now, Nugent, an adamant Donald Trump supporter is eating crow. In a Facebook video Monday he said, “Everybody told me that I should not announce this… I have had flu symptoms for the last ten days. I thought I was dying. Just a clusterf***.”
The 72-year-old goes on to admit he has COVID while using a racial slur, “I was tested positive today. I got the Chinese shit. I’ve got a stuffed-up head, body aches… My God, what a pain in the ass. I literally could hardly crawl out of bed the last few days… So I was officially tested positive for COVID-19 today.”
What is happening to Nugent is just a microcosm of a bigger problem. COVID denial and vaccine conspiracy theories have only added to the hesitancy among a large part of the population. According to the AP, almost all the states with the lowest percentage of vaccinations are red.
Four of them — Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee — lean Republican and voted for Donald Trump last fall. The fifth is Georgia, which has a Republican governor and supported GOP presidential candidates for nearly three decades before narrowly backing Biden.
ABC News reports that conservative GOP congressman Andy Harris is among those trying to raise awareness around the vaccine to reduce hesitancy.
And perhaps cases like Nugent’s will also prompt some otherwise unwilling people to get the vaccine, but unfortunately it will come too late for some.