System of a Down’s John Dolmayan Shares Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories

  • Axl Rosenberg

If I were System of a Down’s publicist, I’d wanna call a band meeting right now, and I’d want the general message of that band meeting to be, “Stop talking.”

The reason? Just a couple of weeks after System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian called panic regarding the current coronavirus pandemic “sensationalism at its finest,”* drummer John Dolmayan has given an interview to The Metal Injection Livecast in which he shared his own theories about the virus, and they’re, uh, well… silly. That’s the nicest possible word I can think of to describe them. Silly, silly, silly.

Dolmayan first posited — as some other silly folks have — that the virus may have been created to stop political protests around the world:

“Well, there were protesters in Hong Kong, there were protesters in France, there were protesters in Italy, Lebanon, Chile — there were protests happening worldwide, people demanding change from their governments, and it’s just kind of convenient that there’s a coronavirus and all those protests go away.”

Then, after dismissing a theory that the virus originated in China’s exotic food markets (“What did these viruses pop out of? It’s not bats and shit like that. People in China have been eating that way for thousands of years.”), he helped disseminate xenophobia by suggesting that the Chinese government deliberately allowed the illness to spread around the world for economic reasons:

“There’s nothing China’s gonna do in the first few weeks to stop people from buying and consuming Chinese product. This is my theory — they would prefer the entire world economy being bad than just the Chinese economy. Because what happens if we can’t get our goods from China because there’s a shutdown in China? Then we’re gonna get it from other places — their competitors. And once you develop supply chains from other places, then people get used to working with other people, they’re not necessarily gonna wanna go back and work with China afterwards.”

First of all, I don’t think it’s safe to assume that just because people have been doing something for a long time without consequence (e.g., eating bats), that there will never be a consequence from those actions. That’s just. Again. Silly.

And besides, as Metal Injection itself has pointed out, the theory positing that COVID-19 was manufactured in a lab has been debunked already:

“A recent study first published in the scientific journal Nature Medicine, concluded that the virus ‘is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.’ The researchers ultimately concluded  ‘we do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible’ because it does not share any ‘previously used virus backbone.’ The study said the virus likely originated from a recombination of a virus found in bats and another virus, with researchers speculating it may have come from pangolins.”

Second of all, you’d think someone who has spent so much time helping to educate the world about the Armenian Genocide would be a little more responsible than to scapegoat an entire country for what’s going on right now. According to PBS, “reports of violence against people of Asian descent” are on the rise, and the FBI has warned that “a surge in hate crimes could be yet to come.” And The Washington Post points out that anti-Asian sentiment will actually make it more difficult for us to put an end to the COVID-19 threat:

“About 20 percent of the nation’s front-line health-care workers are immigrants, including from many countries in Asia. As the Association of American Medical Colleges reports, as of 2018, 17 percent of doctors practicing in the United States were of Asian descent. The virus of hate puts these first responders, and the patients they serve, in double jeopardy. And as the Silicon Valley Leadership Group pointed out in a statement, 1 in 6 of the network’s science, technology, engineering and math employees is from China, Hong Kong or Taiwan. Keeping these workers safe also protects their ability to search for a vaccine and a cure for COVID-19.”

Y’know, you expect this kinda shit from Ted Nugent and “Ripper” Owens and the douche chill in Trapt. It’s disappointing to hear it coming from a member of System of a Down.

You can listen to the entire interview below, although I’d argue that, from an education standpoint, you’d be better served listening to 24 straight hours of farting noises.

*Also, remember when Daron Malakian mourned the death of Charles Manson? Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with these dudes???

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