John Cooper, the frontman and bassist for the Grammy-nominated Christian rock band SKILLET, has once again railed against COVID-19 vaccine mandates, saying they are "much more about tyranny than they are actually keeping people safe."
The 46-year-old vocalist/bassist, who previously publicly revealed that he was unvaccinated, discussed his views on the COVID-19 vaccines during an appearance on the "Faith Vs. Culture With Dan Andros" show on CBN, which features 24-hour TV news from a Christian perspective.
"I've never told someone not to get a vaccine," Cooper said in part (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). I've never told someone to get a vaccine. That's not my decision; that's your decision. But they're changing the definitions of what anti-vax means. I am not anti-vax. They've added a definition that says if you're against vaccine mandates, then you're now anti-vax.
"Us Christians, we need to get our brains ready for leftist authoritarianists do," he continued. "They come in [and] they change language. And by changing language, you can end up changing people's minds about stuff. Because you say it, and people might think you mean one thing, but what you're actually saying is another thing, and the more you repeat the propaganda, your brain gets used to it."
Cooper then once again floated the conspiracy theory — one that is regularly promoted by the anti-vaccine community — that vaccines are a tool of government control.
"The reason that I'm so passionate about this is because us Christians need to wake up to this incredible threat of tyranny that is happening from the government," he said. "Think about the way propaganda has worked here. Nine months ago, eight months ago maybe, the president himself was saying, 'No, we would not institute vaccine mandates. That's not what we do in America.' Doctor Fauci said the same thing. Jen Psaki [current White House press secretary] had repeated that thing. This is all within the last seven or eight months. Look at what has happened in such a short period of time that we went from, 'No, we wouldn't do that because that's not what America does' all the way to Christians saying, 'If you really love somebody, you'll mandate a vaccine.' That is the power of propaganda… The way that the government and the media has used propaganda to become idolatrous and to leave its sovereignty under God and invade other sovereigns' spheres. That would be namely my sphere over my body and my family to teach my kids what I wanna teach, to do what I wanna do. That's why I think these vaccine mandates are much more about tyranny than they are actually keeping people safe."
Cooper went on to say that getting a COVID-19 shot should be a personal choice and that he and other people like him shouldn't be subjected to potential vaccine side effects.
"I think that we need to have a spirit of generosity and [be] gracious towards one another on this issue," he said. "I've never told somebody not to get vaxxed. I've never said you should get vaxxed; that's your decision. The reason I say we need some generosity is because there's a lot… I look at it and I go, okay, we went into lockdown. And I look at that and I say I think there's been about five million COVID deaths in the world — I think — so far. But we also know that they say maybe near a hundred, a hundred and twenty million have been pushed to the brink of starvation because of COVID — because of lockdowns, is really what I should say, because of lockdowns, there wasn't enough agriculture, there wasn't enough shipping to send materials they needed [to send], medical supplies. That's a direct result of lockdown policy. We also know the U.K., they think ten thousand — at least — ten thousand cancer deaths will occur because people didn't go to get checked up during lockdown. Now they're ignoring what European countries are not ignoring, which is the harmful effects of the vaccine — mainly on boys [ages] twelve to fifteen with myocarditis. The U.K. has said, 'We recommend not getting the vaccine for boys twelve to fifteen' because they're four to times more likely to go to the hospital for myocarditis than if they had just gotten COVID in the first place. So I look at all of this stuff and I say, then why are we doing it when Europe is saying, 'We're putting a halt on this?' It makes people really, really nervous.
"Lastly, I'm not being a conspiracy theorist — it is impossible to know what may happen in the future. We don't know what happens in five years, ten years, because it's brand new — we've never done it before. So for the government to come in and demand to put something in my body that we don't know what it's going to do, when I know at my age group and the fact that I'm super ripped and in shape, I know I've got a 99.7 percent chance of being fine if I get it. My family already had it; we have natural immunity anyway; so it just makes it seem like there's something else going on."
Experts have repeatedly said that mRNA vaccines are not new. In fact, they have been in development for decades — since the 1970s— and many mRNA vaccines were in phase 1, 2, and 3 trials before the COVID-19 vaccines were created. According to News Center Maine, messenger RNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response inside our bodies. Our cells break down mRNA and get rid of it within a few days after vaccination. As for the vaccines being "experimental," the U.S. FDA and CDC both said Pfizer and Moderna's data were highly scrutinized and that the shots were required to undergo the same testing, trials, and analysis before getting emergency use authorization.