British rocker Eric Clapton, a critic of coronavirus vaccines and pandemic restrictions, has tested positive for COVID and canceled two upcoming gigs because he is “anxious” about spreading the virus to colleagues and fans.
Clapton’s upcoming shows in Zurich on Tuesday and Milan on Wednesday will be rescheduled, he announced on his official Facebook page Monday. The 77-year-old tested positive following his concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall on May 8.
“He has been told by his medical advisors that if he were to resume traveling and performing too soon, it could substantially delay his full recovery,” the Facebook post said. “Eric is also anxious to avoid passing on any infection to any of his band, crew, promoters, their staff and of course, the fans.”
“It is very frustrating that having avoided Covid throughout lockdown and throughout the period when travel restrictions have been in place Eric should have succumbed to Covid at this point in time,” it added. “But we very much hope he will be sufficiently recovered by the end of the week to be able to perform the remainder of the planned performances.”
In 2020, Clapton produced an anti-lockdown song titled “Stand and Deliver” with Van Morrison. It featured the lyrics: “Do you want to be a free man, or do you want to be a slave?” The musician’s 2021 song “This Has Gotta Stop” riffed on a similar theme.
Clapton said he experienced “severe” reactions to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
It led him to criticize assurances about the vaccines as “propaganda.” Millions worldwide have received the shots and scientists say there is no doubt the vaccines drastically cut the risks of serious illness and death against all forms of the coronavirus.
Clapton also has suggested people who received the jabs were victims of “subliminal advertising.” He previously vowed not to perform at venues requiring fans to show proof of vaccination, but he broke that promise at a gig in New Orleans.