Over the past few decades, Ted Nugent’s controversial, often confrontational politics have overshadowed his music, and over the last year he has spent most of his energy on denying the existence of Covid-19. Now Nugent, whose age at 72 makes him one of the most vulnerable to the virus, has admitted he has contracted the coronavirus.
“Everybody told me I should not announce this,” he said in a Facebook Live broadcast on Monday afternoon. “I have had flu symptoms for the last 10 days. … I thought I was dying, just a clusterfuck.” Then, after some digressions, he got to the point, using his typically uncooked vernacular: “I was tested positive today. I got the Chinese shit. … I got a stuffed-up head, body aches, my God, what a pain in the ass. I literally could hardly crawl out of bed the last few days, but I did, I crawled. … So I was officially tested positive for Covid-19 today.”
He spent the rest of his nine-minute video slurring China, describing a contentious conversation he conducted with a doctor, casting doubts on the ingredients in Covid vaccines, and praising My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell. At one juncture, he paused to belch the first name of Barack Obama, whom Nugent once called a “subhuman mongrel.”
Nugent has long embraced far-right conservative touchstones, supporting the NRA, opposing animal rights, bemoaning the very existence of Obama, and supporting Donald Trump, the president who fueled much of Nugent’s anti-Chinese rhetoric about the virus.
Last August, Nugent had described Covid-19 as a “leftist scam to destroy [Trump],” according to Blabbermouth. In the same statement, he baselessly accused politicians of sweeping other deaths under the Covid umbrella, to make the number of Covid deaths bigger, and blasted Fox News for supporting those claims. The singer and guitarist, who brags that he did not graduate college in his first Facebook live, has previously denounced mask mandates, and Blabbermouth reports he has said that he would not get a vaccine. Earlier this month, he disputed CDC reports that more than half a million people have died of the virus without any evidence to support his claims.
As of April 19th, the CDC reports that more than 564,000 Americans have died of Covid-19. Americans between the ages of 65 and 74, like Nugent, account for 21.4 percent of Covid-19-related deaths.
“I have never been so sick in all my life,” Nugent said in a later Facebook live broadcast. “I could barely crawl out of bed. And I’m not looking for sympathy; I’m just trying to share a medical emergency during a global medical emergency, and what the Nugent tribe, what this guitar player is doing to counterpunch a Covid-19 positive test this afternoon. And it’s gonna be willpower.”