Exodus guitarist and Slayer alum Gary Holt urged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 this week, days after fears of the disease’s emerging Omicron variant swept the globe. He also pointed out the flaw in misinformation surrounding the unproven treatment ivermectin.

Exodus just released their first studio effort in seven years, Persona Non Grata. Loudwire spoke to Holt about the album, his alcohol-free lifestyle and his meme-filled Instagram account. A concurrent interview with the musician found him sharing his opinion on COVID vaccination.

Holt has first-hand experience with the coronavirus. He tested positive for the contagious disease behind the ongoing worldwide health crisis in the pandemic’s early days of March 2020, after Exodus’ The Bay Strikes Back Tour with Testament and Death Angel was first postponed due to resulting pandemic restrictions. Testament vocalist Chuck Billy and Death Angel drummer Will Carroll were among others on the trek who contracted COVID.

Now nearly two years later, and with the pandemic showing no signs of fully abating, Holt has offered an endorsement of COVID vaccination and underscored the shot’s beneficial protection.

“If everyone would get vaccinated, it wouldn’t have to go on,” he told The Aquarian on Monday (Nov. 29). “People say that even when vaccinated, you could still get it. Well, if you could get a vaccine that reduces [a deadly disease] to a nasty cold, you don’t have to overflow the hospitals and you wouldn’t have to have the snowballing amount of problems it is causing. We could get back to normal.”

Holt added, referring to ivermectin misinformation, “Unfortunately, some people are more willing to take a deworming agent than the vaccine. It is crazy. I wish people would realize that chemists, scientists and the pharmaceutical companies are responsible for both the vaccines and the de-wormer. There is no logic in the world anymore.”

Other rock and metal musicians who’ve battled COVID-19 include Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, KISS’ Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, three members of Korn and many others. Metal singer Eric Wagner died after being hospitalized with COVID pneumonia.

Vaccination and booster efforts continue across the globe as 58 percent total of U.S. citizens are now fully inoculated. Over 700,000 Americans have died of COVID, according to The New York Times.

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