McLaughlin told Rolling Stone magazine when the money turned up in the GoFundMe account, he initially thought it was a joke. So he emailed the account associated with the donation and struck up a relationship with the 60s icon himself.
According to the Jam for Freedom website, the group “is spearheading the pro-freedom revolution happening globally as a response to restrictions on our basic human rights to work, travel and live,” gratefully supported by Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, members, and public donation.
Clapton, 76, claims that his AstraZeneca vaccine caused him “disastrous” side effects, leading him to become a vocal vaccine skeptic. He recently joined Van Morrison to record a song called Stand And Deliver, and another on his own, titled This Has Gotta Stop, a protest anthem of sorts against his vaccine and the lockdowns in the U.K.
“I took the first jab of AZ and straight away had severe reactions which lasted ten days. I recovered eventually and was told it would be twelve weeks before the second one,” Clapton wrote in a letter to Robin Monotti, according to Rolling Stone.
“About six weeks later I was offered and took the second AZ shot, but with a little more knowledge of the dangers. Needless to say the reactions were disastrous, my hands and feet were either frozen, numb, or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks, I feared I would never play again, (I suffer from peripheral neuropathy and should never have gone near the needle.) But the propaganda said the vaccine was safe for everyone…”
In July, Clapton announced he would not play any venue where vaccines were mandated for the audience.
“Following the PM’s announcement on Monday the 19th of July 2021 I feel honour bound to make an announcement of my own: I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present,” Clapton said in a statement posted to his friend Robin Monotti’s Telegram account. “Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show. Eric Clapton.”
He launched a U.S. tour in September, booked only in red states and only at venues that don’t require vaccines or proof of a negative COVID-19 test. While in Texas he posed with anti-abortion, anti-mandate, and hater of gender-neutral toy aisles Gov. Greg Abbott.
As for the 18-time Grammy winner’s history of racist comments, we travel back to an 1976 concert in Birmingham, England, where in a drunken stupor the famed guitarist began slamming immigrants, saying Britain must stop itself from becoming a “black colony,” they should leave Great Britain, screaming, “Get the wogs out … get the coons out.” (Wog is shorthand for “golliwog,” or anyone who is not white).
Since then, and over the years, Clapton has apologized/not apologized, explained, defended himself, paid tribute to Black musicians then slurred Black musicians, and laughed off his comments. But, all in all, he’s never truly stepped away from offensive things he’s said.
Now he’s going after vaccines because he had a bad reaction, and he’s offering plenty of fodder for the right.
Conservative talking head Michael Knowles tweeted, “Eric Clapton is a much more credible person than Dr. Fauci.” He told Rolling Stone reporter David Browne that “Clapton isn’t pontificating about matters of science or health — he’s discussing his own experience with this vaccine,” he says. “I think in many ways Eric Clapton does have more credibility on this question and many others than Dr. Fauci does.”
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