Eric Clapton has debuted a video for his new track, This Has Gotta Stop, which is being interpreted by some listeners as an attempt at writing an anti-lockdown, anti-vaccine anthem.
The song doesn’t reference Covid-19 or vaccination directly but contains the lines: “I can’t take this BS any longer / It’s gone far enough / You want to claim my soul, / you’ll have to come and break down this door.”
While another of the central lines is seen to be a reference to Clapton’s reported vaccine side effects.
“I knew that something was going on wrong/ When you started laying down the law/ I can’t move my hands / I break out in sweat.”
Earlier this year, Clapton discussed his “severe reaction” to the AZ vaccine, saying, “my hands and feet were either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks.”
At the time he also labelled the vast amount of peer-reviewed data proving the relative safety of vaccines as “propaganda”.
In response to Clapton’s comments, the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) told Rolling Stone (opens in new tab) in July that “over 56 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 have now been administered in the UK, saving thousands of lives through the biggest vaccination programme that has ever taken place in this country.
“Our advice remains that the benefits of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca outweigh the risks in the majority of people. It is still vitally important that people come forward for their vaccination when invited to do so.”
The UK’s independent fact-checking organisation FullFact.org (opens in new tab) has also verified that the risk of dying from blood clots relating to the Astra Zeneca vaccine is incredibly low: approximately 1 in 470,000.
For comparison, the risk of getting struck by lightning in your lifetime is estimated to be 1 in 300,000.
This compares to a 0.9% (or roughly 1 in 111) chance of dying if you get Covid (opens in new tab) or a 1 in 20 chance of getting long Covid and experiencing symptoms for longer than eight weeks.
This Has Gotta Stop would seem to suggest that the guitarist remains a vociferous critic of the lockdowns and vaccination campaign.
In addition to his new track, Clapton appeared on Van Morrison’s track Stand And Deliver in late 2020, one of several anti-lockdown songs penned by Morrison.
Clapton has also stated that he may refuse to play to 'discriminated audiences’ at venues where proof of vaccination is required, a move which is set to become UK policy by the end of September.