Valerie Bertinelli is not impressed by the latest stand Eric Clapton has taken against efforts to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic through vaccination.
Days after U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that COVID vaccine certificates will be mandatory at many entertainment venues in the country by late-September, Clapton issued a statement in which he vowed to "not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present."
On Wednesday, Bertinelli replied via Twitter to Clapton's announcement by sharing an old photo of Clapton, Eddie Van Halen and herself. None of the three look to be enjoying themselves in the photo, and Bertinelli is covering most of her face, glaring in Old Slowhand's direction.
"Once a dick, always a dick," she wrote.
Fellow Twitter users urged Bertinelli to tell the story behind the photo. Others were quick to point out that Clapton wasn't always so opposed to "discrimination," recalling his infamous "England is for white people..." rant in 1976 in which he urged the government to deport all non-whites from the country. He later blamed the rant on his heavy drug and alcohol abuse at the time.
Clapton has publicly embraced a variety of discredited COVID theories and misinformation about the life-saving vaccines. In a collaboration with Van Morrison called "Stand and Deliver," released in December, Clapton railed against the COVID-related lockdowns, comparing them to slavery.
While the multi-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Clapton is vaccinated, he reported a painful reaction to the AstraZeneca shots this past spring. He blamed "propaganda" for pressuring him to get the vaccine and said his bad reaction was due to a condition he was previously diagnosed with called peripheral neuropathy.
In June, Clapton admitted that his COVID views have cost him some friendships and made things uncomfortable at times with family members.
Clapton's next scheduled U.K. concerts aren't until next spring, though he will be touring the U.S. this September.
Surveys suggest that most vaccine hesitancy is driven by concern over side effects from the shots. Most vaccine recipients experience only mild side effects, which disappear within 24 hours.
Health officials point out that the benefits of the vaccines — namely, suppressing the transmission of a disease that has killed more than 4 million people worldwide since late-2019 — far outweigh the risks posed by side effects.
While recent media reports have highlighted the fact that fully-vaccinated people are still vulnerable to COVID, health officials in New York state put those stories in context. They reported that out of 11 million vaccinated New Yorkers, just 8,700 have tested positive for COVID since April 1. That 8,700 was out of nearly 250,000 total positive tests statewide since April 1.