- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 24, 2020

Rock singer Maynard James Keenan performed on stage while sick with COVID-19 after a doctor told him he did not have the disease, the Tool frontman said in an interview out Friday.

Mr. Keenan, 56, said on the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast that he started experiencing symptoms associated with the disease in late February while Tool was on tour in Australia.

He said he then flew internationally to New Zealand, where he remained sick for the next several days before Tool performed concerts in Auckland on Feb. 28 and Feb. 29.

Mr. Keenan said he wondered at the time whether he contracted COVID-19, the contagious disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and brought it up with a doctor before performing.

“I asked the doctor when I got to New Zealand, ‘Do you think this is COVID?’” Mr. Keenan recalled.

Mr. Keenan said the doctor asked him if he had recently experienced a fever. He replied that he could not remember, and the doctor told him that he did not COVID-19 then, he said.

Tool performed both Auckland shows, followed by two dates in the U.S. early March, before the coronavirus pandemic sidelined plans for virtually all touring bands.

Mr. Keenan said he learned months later that he had been sick with COVID-19 when he saw an arthritis doctor about inflammation the singer had been experiencing in his wrists.

“I started walking him through everything [and] he goes, ‘you had COVID’,” added Mr. Keenan, who said the doctor explained the inflammation was a side effect.

The World Health Organization reported it learned about COVID-19 on New Year’s Eve, and comparatively little was known about the disease when Mr. Keenan became ill shortly after.

Indeed, the New Zealand Ministry of Health previously said a man in the crowd at one of the two Auckland concerts was the fourth person in the country to test positive for COVID-19.

Eight months since first becoming sick, Mr. Keenan said he still has coughing fits “like every other day.”


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