Mass hysteria and fury when ‘Vanilla Ice’ happily announces Independence Day concert in Texas

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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.

**Warning: Language

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.

“…[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.

 

 

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Jon Dougherty

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