CNN’s Chris Wallace questioned country music superstar Brad Paisley about his willingness to take sides on contentious political issues that many fans may not agree with, particularly on the COVID vaccines.
The acclaimed musician sat down with the anchor on the latest edition of “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace” on Max/CNN in which an interview with actress Sharon Stone was also featured.
Paisley was among the artists and other celebrities who joined the White House in promoting the vaccines during the height of the pandemic and appeared with First Lady Jill Biden at a 2021 event in Nashville, Tenn. where a pop-up clinic was set up. He has also been a vocal supporter of the war in Ukraine, another divisive issue.
(Video: YouTube/NewsChannel 5)
“You are not afraid to get into controversial subjects. I mean, I don’t think it should be controversial, but support for the Ukrainians and the war. That’s something that you have embraced,” Wallace said. “You also, and we have some pictures here of you, with Jill Biden promoting the COVID vaccine.”
Wallace then asked, “What do you make of so many people, including a big chunk of country music fans, who are very probably don’t take the vaccine and see that as political?”
Paisley answered, “Well, I mean, look, that’s a very complicated thing. I have really good friends that are incredible doctors at Vanderbilt, one of my closest friends in the world is a pediatric neurosurgeon. And that’s who I leaned on throughout the..the thing. And that’s why I got so involved in this is his, his studying of this and his explanation for where we would be without it.”
“Based on the data that he was telling me about, and all of the research that I did with him, I felt like it was the right thing to do. And, you know, sometimes you do stuff like that, when you believe it,” he added. “Even if it’s not popular, I think you got to do it. And in that sense, it’s been fascinating though, to watch. And the folks who didn’t get it, it’s like, it’s okay. those of us who did, we, you know, we did what we did, you did what you did, and here we sit now, and we don’t have to wear that mask anymore. Thankfully.”
Paisley equated getting the jab with patriotism during a 2021 appearance on MSNBC where he discussed vaccine hesitancy.
“I feel like knowing my people, where I come from, I’m from West Virginia,” he told the outlet. “A small town of 1200 people, this is the kind of community where immediately if a house is on fire, before the fire department can get there, there’s a lot of people with buckets trying to put the fire out already,” he said. “They band together, they do what it takes to help their neighbor. So all my fans… They are seeing disinformation everywhere, and they are being told that the water doesn’t put the fire out. So it is a really strange thing to try to be louder than that disinformation.”
“I think that… When they realize that it is the patriotic thing, when they realize that this is for the greater good, they will do it,” Paisley added.
“I think that there is a level of reaching these folks that you have to say look, the way to be the most productive citizen, the way to be the person that helps, is to get this. The patriotic thing is when you raise your arm and say ‘America, get a shot in it. That is the way that you are the most patriotic,” he said.
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