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Rapper and musician Vanilla Ice announced he will hold an Independence Day concert in Texas, despite a rise in coronavirus cases throughout the state, much to the angst of critics who are already forecasting widespread sickness and death.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday, the artist said the venue will be in Austin, where bars and other gathering places have been ordered closed again as cases of people testing positive for the virus around the state have risen by the thousands.
Titled, “Independence Day Throwback Beach Party,” the event is nevertheless permissible under a legal loophole, according to the Austin Chronicle.
The venue will be the Emerald Point Bar & Grill, which is located on the shores of Lake Travis, and while it is technically a restaurant, it also features a very large outdoor capacity general admission space to hold concerts and other events. As such, fans won’t have to observe recommended coronavirus social distancing and other guidelines that discourage large crowds.
“I can’t wait to get back to this,” Vanilla Ice, whose iconic 1990s hit “Ice Ice Baby,” made him a household name for a period, posted online, along with footage from previous concerts.
“The 90s were the best. We didn’t have coronavirus, or cell phones, or computers. We had 5.0’s, blockbuster, Beavis and Butthead, Wayne’s World, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan … Mortal Kombat is still better than Fortnight … the last of the great decades,” he wrote.
The venue is selling 2,500 tickets, which is only about half its overall capacity. Ticket prices will range from $25 for general admission to $300 for VIP seating, which is already sold out, according to Entertainment Weekly.
A retro music act, Color Me Badd, is playing the same venue on July 4th, the site noted.
The announcement of the event drew widespread condemnation on social media, with several users predicting mass death.
Imagine dying of the coronavirus because you went to a fucking Vanilla Ice concert https://t.co/yNu4pW5arm
— Eric Francisco (@EricFrancisco24) July 1, 2020
Imagine dying of the coronavirus because someone else went to a Vanilla Ice concert.
— KB (@sorrykb) July 2, 2020
Getting the coronavirus at a Vanilla Ice concert has to be one of the lamest ways to die possible.
— Jeffrey Royer (@JeffreyRoyer) July 1, 2020
You heard correctly, Lord. I died because I needed to see Vanilla Ice. In 2020. During the pandemic. https://t.co/JbMaQV2Lbv
— Bryan Behar (@bryanbehar) July 2, 2020
“Will it ever stop?
Yo, I don’t know
Turn on the ventilator, I can’t breathe…” pic.twitter.com/vXaeRF9DNl
— Steve Patsy (@spatsy) July 1, 2020
Yikes. Yikes. Baby.
— Kevin Stern (@Atherworld) July 2, 2020
Wait a f* minute , Coronavirus aside. People are still actually paying money to go see Vanilla ice? I’m seriously not trying to be funny. I’m just shocked. Wasn’t he doing home improvement? Y’all risking catching the virus to see Bob The Builder perform 1 hit from the 90’s😂.
— Prince’s Lil Red Corvette❤️ (@rubygirl_65) July 2, 2020
I wouldn’t even go and get sick if Hendrix, Elvis, Janis, Freddie, Chuck Berry, Miles, Curtis Mayfield, Aretha, Lennon, Layne Staley, Cobain, Bowie, 2Pac, Biggie, Prince and fucking Beethoven all rose from the dead for a one night only concert, so FUCK a Vanilla Ice.
— Clay Fusco (@thedarknowhere) July 2, 2020
On Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered all bars in the state to re-shutter following a steep rise in coronavirus positives, which included some hospitalizations. On Wednesday, the noted ACL music festival announced it would not hold any fall shows this year.
Texas announced more than 8,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, which is a daily high, local TV station KVUE reported, adding that the virus’ positive rate in the Austin area alone is 28 percent.
But the rise in coronavirus cases is not equating into a run on hospitalizations or a dramatic increase in deaths. In fact, according to one healthcare executive, the vast majority of cases are either mild or asymptomatic, and the rise in ICU hospitalizations is due, in large part, to admissions of patients who have gotten extremely sick after waiting weeks for care due to fears over the virus.
Wondering what’s really happening in Texas? Here’s the email, from a senior executive at a Texas ER chain that sees thousands of patients a month. He went on the record – a brave move. I’m going to let him speak for himself. (Two tweets of screenshots. Worth reading to the end.) pic.twitter.com/4xuBdTIFIc
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) June 30, 2020
“…[H]eard several stories of how discharge planners are being pressured to put Covid as primary diagnosis — as that pays significantly better. Hospitals want to avoid the discussion but if they don’t they risk another shutdown,” a self-identified “Managing Partner and General Counsel” of a Texas-based firm that owns and operates 13 “free-standing emergency clinics” in the state, wrote in an email to former New York Times reporter Alex Berensen last week.
“This may be an explanation for why there is a gap in hospital executives saying they have plenty of capacity and the increasing number of Covid hospitalizations. You open up your hospitals for normal medical care and you test every one of those patients — the result is a higher percentage of patients who have Covid,” the executive wrote.
The managing partner adds that “most” patients winding up in hospital ICUs are not there because they have contracted a serious case of COVID-19.
“The hospital ICUs are filled with really sick people with non-covid issues. They didn’t come in earlier because they were scared and now they are super sick,” the executive wrote, adding:
From multiple sources at different hospitals — they have plenty of capacity and no shortage of acute care beds. No real data on breakdown of patients who have Covid but are not in the hospital because of Covid. Recognition that because all patients are tested for Covid you have some percentage of patients listed as Covid patients who are non Covid symptomatic and that the hospitalization rate is somewhat driven by hospitals taking their normal patients with other issues.
In addition, the anonymous executive official added there are have been “very few hospital transfers” due to the virus and that the “vast majority” of “patients are better within 2-3 days of” their visit.
This is EXACTLY what you hear and read in Houston if you get past the fear porn. “Positivity” results statistically will depend on the randomness of the test sample. Hospital beds filled up once elective surgeries were allowed again. Only 28% of ICU is Covid.
— Ha Ha Tonka Castle (@Vic_Issitudes) June 30, 2020
Key section imo was this:
“The hospital ICUs are filled with really sick people with non-covid issues. They didn’t come in earlier because they were scared and now they are super sick.”
— Jon A (@Is2020_OverYet) June 30, 2020
Also people don’t understand that ICU’s are normally at high capacity because they’re treating every thing and not just Covid patients. That’s the weird subset of this new fear, people somehow think ICU’s are normally empty, which they’re not.
— SMH-ing Engr. (@CTKWorkOut) June 30, 2020
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