Brad Paisley has been vocal about encouraging his fans to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and he continued to share that message during a recent interview with MSNBC, where he explained that he believes getting the vaccine is the patriotic thing to do. The country star hails from a small town in West Virginia and understands that many people make decisions based on what their neighbors are doing, which is something he hopes to change when it comes to getting vaccinated.
"I feel like knowing my people, where I come from — I'm from West Virginia, a small town of 1,200 people — this is the kind of community where immediately, if a house is on fire, before the fire department can get there, there are a lot of people with buckets. They're trying to put the fire out already," he said. "They band together, they do what it takes to help their neighbor. I think all my fans have been fed — they are seeing disinformation everywhere, and they're being told that the water doesn't put the fire out. So it's a really strange thing to try and 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."
Several states are offering residents incentives to get vaccinated, including West Virginia, a practice Paisley supports, especially considering the Delta variant of COVID-19, which is increasing in areas of the country where fewer people are vaccinated. "I also think the incentives work," he said. "The carrot on a stick, the idea of positive reinforcement, where tickets are given to people who are vaccinated. I like the lottery systems that states are doing. I like the fact that Governor Justice in West Virginia did a hundred bucks a person when they got vaccinated. It's a shame we have to, but at the same time, whatever it takes, because the variant, it's coming."
The Grammy winner is preparing to kick off his summer 2021 tour and shared that anyone going out on the road with him, including his band and crew, has been vaccinated. "They were really great about it," he said. "I just basically encouraged it, and said, 'We are going to meet people in every state. It's safest if we go there with this armor on,' and they went and did it."
Paisley previously participated in a PSA promoting the COVID-19 vaccine and is making it his mission to encourage his fans to get the shot. "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,'" he said. "The patriotic thing to do, when you raise your arm and say 'America, get a shot in it,' that is the way that you are the most patriotic. I don't think they understand necessarily all of the things that go into this about the patriotic moment we're in, how as a nation we are stronger with this, because I think you're going to have a choice. The choice is you get the vaccine, and you don't get COVID. The other choice is, you get the COVID, and you don't get the vaccine. And it kind of feels like it's a really important patriotic moment for all of us."