Jason Isbell has appeared on Amanda Shires’ live stream series I So Lounging, playing a cover of Van Morrison’s song Into The Mystic – but not without addressing Morrison’s controversial comments on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying restrictions.
Before the song, Isbell said: “There was a time in the past when our dear Van Morrison had such beautiful music, such beautiful songs, that everyone paid attention to him. Now that that time has passed, I fear that our dear Van Morrison is still desirous of the attention that he once received. So now he likes to say things like, ‘The government asking you to not give everyone the Covid-19 virus is akin to slavery.’ I disagree with that statement very much. I’m gonna do this song in remembrance of when Van was merely not nice and wasn’t public about his denial of science.”
As he donned a mask, he added: “I don’t know that this’ll protect me from the virus, but I’d like for it to protect me from Van.” Take a look at Isbell’s appearance on the show below:
Van Morrison has announced his intention to release protest songs about the lockdown, saying in a statement: “I’m not telling people what to do or think, the government is doing a great job of that already…
“It’s about freedom of choice, I believe people should have the right to think for themselves.” He had also previously called the lockdown “pseudoscience.”
Morrison hasn’t just been criticised by Isbell – Northern Ireland’s health minister Robin Swann wrote in a Rolling Stone op-ed: “We expected better from him … Some of what he is saying is actually dangerous. It could encourage people not to take coronavirus seriously. If you see it all as a big conspiracy, then you are less likely to follow the vital public health advice that keeps you and others safe.”
Swann added: “It is actually a smear on all those involved in the public health response to a virus that has taken lives on a massive scale. His words will give great comfort to the conspiracy theorists — the tinfoil hat brigade who crusade against masks and vaccines and think this is all a huge global plot to remove freedoms.”
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