SYSTEM OF A DOWN frontman Serj Tankian has blasted President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. Trump has been criticized by members of the media for using his daily White House press briefings to spread misinformation during a pandemic, with some channels going so far as to make an editorial decision to stop airing the briefings live. Tankian addressed Trump's pattern of false information and exaggeration during a brand new interview with New Zealand journalist David Farrier. The singer said (see video below): "[Trump is] obsessed about himself, and the economy is his barometer of his presidency, in his mind, so he doesn't want the economy to fail, and, obviously, it's going to fail. All the economy in the world is failing because of this involuntary cause," referring to the pandemic. "Everything that he says in his press conferences reverts back to him and how well his government is doing, or making fun of the press for… not making fun, but basically beating down on them, that they wanna replace him and this is all about his re-election," Serj contined. "It's all about him. Same with [President Jair] Bolsonaro in Brazil. The guy is so dangerous." According to Tankian, one "positive takeaway" from the current crisis is that "maybe even those hardcore — although I wouldn't hold my breath — but some of these hardcore supporters of these right-wing populist leaders might just look at them and go, 'How useless are these guys?' They're completely useless," he said. "You look at the prime minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan's speech, you look at other speeches by formidable leaders around the world, and then you look at these clowns. It's embarrassing." At today's White House briefing, Trump invited several corporate allies to make short speeches, including MyPillow founder Mike Lindell, who encouraged Americans to pray during the coronavirus pandemic. Trump also berated CNN reporter Jim Acosta for asking what the president considered to be a "nasty snarky" question. The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the spread of the new coronavirus, which began in China in late December, a pandemic on March 11. More than 784,000 cases have been reported worldwide and more than 37,000 deaths so far, putting public health systems and emergency services under immense pressure.
METALLICA has posted another video as part of its new concert series, "#MetallicaMondays", where the band is streaming a complete live show for fans on the group's YouTube channel and on Facebook every week. The second concert to be shared was recorded on on September 8, 2017 at AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France and can be seen below. The band said in a statement, "While we're all doing our part and staying home, we find ourselves missing live music, so how about we dive back into a few of our favorite shows at a socially responsible distance?" METALLICA has been largely out of the public eye since last fall when the band canceled an Australian tour and announced that frontman James Hetfield was returning to rehab for the first time since 2002 to battle his addictions. Hetfield made his first major public appearance since entering rehab on January 30, when an exhibit featuring 10 of his classic custom cars opened at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. A week ago, METALLICA announced that its South American tour, which was originally planned for April, has been postponed until December. In addition, the band's appearances at three Danny Wimmer Presents-produced festivals in May have been canceled: Epicenter in Charlotte, Welcome To Rockville in Daytona and Sonic Temple in Columbus. Guitarist Kirk Hammett told The Pulse Of Radio not long ago that METALLICA has to be in better than average shape to play its music live. "There's a physicality to our music that we cannot ignore, so we just kind of have to keep ourselves in a certain sort of physical sort of state where that we can't let ourselves get to a point where we can't play these songs," he said. "That's just not allowed. When we write this music, we have to make sure that we can play it and play it when we need to play it."