Kanye West revealed that he was likely sick with COVID-19, discussed his presidential aspirations, shared anti-abortion and anti-vaccine views and declared that he no longer supports President Donald Trump in an interview with Forbes.
The interview marked West’s first major piece of press since he declared on July 4th that he was going to run for president. That proclamation came a few days after he dropped a new single, “Wash Us in the Blood,” on June 30th.
Although he told Forbes of his campaign “Like anything I’ve ever done in my life, I’m [going] to win,” West has yet to file any paperwork that would actually place him on ballots in November — and he’s already missed deadlines for several states. He cited his wife Kim Kardashian-West and Elon Musk as advisors and said he would tap Michelle Tidball, a preacher from Wyoming, to be his running mate. His campaign slogan is “YES” and his political party is the Birthday Party, because “when we win, it’s everybody’s birthday.”
West criticized both of his potential challengers, President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. While West still expressed some admiration for Trump, calling him “the closest president we’ve had in years to allowing God to still be part of the conversation,” he said he was “taking the red hat off.” He also suggested he’d recently lost confidence in the president. “It looks like one big mess to me. I don’t like that I caught wind that he hid in the bunker,” he said, referring to reports that Trump hid in a White House safe room during recent anti-police brutality protests in Washington, D.C.
As for Biden, West was much more critical: “This man, Joe Biden, said if you don’t vote for me, then you are not black. Well, act like we didn’t hear that? We act like we didn’t hear that man say that? That man said that. It’s a rap.” He later called it “a form of racism and white supremacy and white control” to say all black people need to be Democrats, and accused the party of threatening him and other black people into voting for them: “[T]hat’s what the Democrats are doing, emotionally, to my people. Threatening them to the point where this white man can tell a black man if you don’t vote for me, you’re not black.”
As for actual positions, West said he wanted to put prayer back in schools, that he was against the death penalty and that he would end police brutality. He also stated he was against abortion and spouted the false claim that “Planned Parenthoods have been placed inside cities by white supremacists to do the Devil’s work.”
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West also expressed a strong anti-vaccine sentiment, saying, “It’s so many of our children that are being vaccinated and paralyzed… So when they say the way we’re going to fix COVID is with a vaccine, I’m extremely cautious. That’s the mark of the beast. They want to put chips inside of us, they want to do all kinds of things, to make it where we can’t cross the gates of heaven.”
As for his own experience with COVID-19, West said he was likely sick in February and recalled: “Chills, shaking in the bed, taking hot showers, looking at videos telling me what I’m supposed to do to get over it. I remember someone had told me Drake had the coronavirus and my response was Drake can’t be sicker than me!”