Sammy Hagar Backtracks Quotes About Sacrificing People to COVID for Economy

Sammy Hagar has a hot take regarding the best way to have fix the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. In an interview on June 23 with Rolling Stone, the former Van Halen frontman admitted that he's willing to sacrifice people (himself included) to Covid-19 if it means saving the economy.

These comments came out as the number of cases has spiked in several states since non-essential businesses began to reopen. California, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, Florida and others are seeing coronavirus cases surge.

Sammy Hagar Van Halen
Sammy Hagar performs onstage during MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Aerosmith at West Hall at Los Angeles Convention Center on January 24, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Amy Sussman/Getty

In early May, he and several other musicians were asked about staying at home instead of touring while coping with the uncertainties of the pandemic. Dozens of concerts and tours have been canceled and postponed since March.

"I'm going to make a radical statement here. This is hard to say without stirring somebody up, but truthfully, I'd rather personally get sick and even die, if that's what it takes," Hagar began.

"We have to save the world and this country from this economic thing that's going to kill more people in the long run," the rocker added. "I would rather see everyone go back to work. If some of us have to sacrifice on that, OK."

Hagar seemed preoccupied with the state of the country's economy. He admitted that if the cost of human lives is necessary for the economy to fully recover, he's willing to die from the coronavirus. "I will die for my children and my grandchildren to have a life anywhere close to the life that I had in this wonderful country. That's just the way that I feel about it," he continued. "I'm not going to go around spreading the disease. But there may be a time where we have to sacrifice. I mean, how many people die on the Earth every day? I have no idea. I'm sorry to say it, but we all gotta die, man."

Hagar also revealed that he would be willing to play live concerts in packed venues "before there's a vaccine, if it's declining and seems to be going away."

Since Hagar's Rolling Stone interview ran, the rocker took to Facebook to address his previous comments. "I did that interview a mont (sic) and a half ago, things change very fast right now, so I wanted to clarify and put a few things into context now," he began in the social media update that was shared on June 25.

Hey, Sammy here. Earlier in the week Rolling Stone ran a compilation piece from their Quarantine Q&A series. I did that...

Posted by Sammy Hagar (The Red Rocker) on Thursday, June 25, 2020

"I did that interview May 8th when we were already several weeks into the stay-at-home, which my family and I took very seriously, and things were starting to look up, the curve was beginning flattening," Hagar explained. "So when I was asked if I'd be comfortable enough to get back onstage before a vaccine was out, I was cautiously optimistic. I said, 'Yeah, not too soon. I want to make sure it's not escalating. When it's declining and seems to be going away.'"

"Big picture, it's about getting back to work in a safe and responsible way and getting this economy rolling again," he added. "I will do my part. I stand by that. I employ 200 people directly and when we tour even more."

Hagar concluded his update by noting that once conditions are safer, he will reassess whether or not performing will be possible. "Like everything today, it's a watch and see over the next few months but we remain cautiously optimistic that with the right improvements and safety measures in place, we might be able to play shows this year. That said, as things change, for the better or worse, we will appropriately adjust our plans," he said.

When a vaccine will be available remains to be seen. On June 23, the World Health Organization revealed that there are over 100 potential coronavirus vaccines being developed by researchers around the world.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told Newsweek last month that vaccines are being manufactured before we know if they work. "If things work out, we hope to get an efficacy signal [for a vaccine] by late fall or early winter...assuming that we have a safe and effective vaccine, we think a timetable that we would have enough doses by December I think would be not an unreasonable assumption," he said.

Updated 6/25/2020, 4:11 p.m. ET: This article has been updated with further context regarding Sammy Hagar's Rolling Stone interview and his Facebook post from June 25.

Updated 6/25/2020, 5:08 p.m. ET: This headline has been updated to reflect Hagar's post on Facebook, in which he clarifies his previous comments to Rolling Stone.