Brian May says it was “heartbreaking and horrible” not to store critical protective gear before the Covid-19 pandemic.
The queen’s star told the BBC that he was “angry and sad” that healthcare workers were “supposed to come in and risk their lives” without proper protection.
“People have died. Young people who had their whole life ahead of them. I find it absolutely heartbreaking, ”he said.
The government has said it is “determined to overcome the challenges” with PPE.
A BBC Panorama investigation this week revealed that there were no dresses, visors, tampons or body bags in the government’s pandemic stock when Covid-19 reached the UK.
“I think as a nation we must be ashamed of not being prepared,” said May.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday, “We are urgently determined to overcome these challenges which have become so exasperating. I am not going to minimize the logistical problems we have encountered in providing the right protective gear to the right people at the right time, both in the NHS and in care homes.
He added, “Everyone who tackles these issues does everything they can, heart and soul, night and day, to get it right. And we are making huge progress. “
- Are NHS personnel receiving sufficient protective equipment?
May spoke while Queen released a new version of their hit single We Are The Champions in support of frontline healthcare workers.
Re-titled You Are The Champions, the single was locked with May and drummer Roger Taylor playing in London, and singer Adam Lambert on tour recording his voice in LA.
The proceeds will go to the Covid-19 fund of the World Health Organization, which supports doctors around the world.
“As the father of a daughter on the front line, I am acutely aware of the vital work they do every day to save us and our society,” said Taylor, whose daughter is a general practitioner in London.
“Their bravery and sacrifice must not be harmed by anything less than 100% of our governments’ efforts to protect them. They are precious to all of us and they are truly our champions. “
The group is not alone in hoping to raise funds for healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Colonel Tom Moore and Michael Ball reached number one last week with their charity coverage of Never Never Walk Alone, while Got Talent judge Amanda Holden recorded a new version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
Britpop groups including Dodgy, The Seahorses and Menswear have joined forces to re-record Chasing Rainbows by Shed Seven.
And independent groups such as Wolf Alice, Foals and The Wombats have also put together a unique vinyl album, with the aim of raising £ 30,000 to buy respirators for the NHS Trusts in England and Scotland.
The Queen single appeared after the group’s postponement of the tour due to the coronavirus earlier this year.
“I isolated myself very early,” May told the BBC. “For me, it was obvious.
“This virus was about to invade, the only weapon we had was to have less human interaction. So I thought, I’m doing it for my own health and that of my family, and for the good of all, really. “
To pass the time, he started sharing tutorials on how to play some of Queen’s most popular songs, including Bohemian Rhapsody, on Instagram.
These lessons turned into jam sessions with fans; and finally May teamed up with Taylor to play We Are The Champions.
The guitarist said he had an “inking” that could become something bigger, but it wasn’t until Lambert added his voice that the plane crystallized.
“I emailed everyone and said,” You know, we can change the strange word, if we want, to mean something different, “and we had the doctors in head because we applaud every Thursday night.
“So I thought, ‘Well, what can you change? Should it be? “Have you paid your membership fees?” “
” [Then] Adam went there and he just changed those two words in the last chorus. So instead of “we are the champions, it has become” you are the champions “.
“We all said” Yes, that’s right. It’s just a nice little subtle change. “
“It means we applaud you all because you are now the champions. You are the warriors who save humanity on this planet. “
The single, released on Friday, May 1, stems from these original sessions, with overdubs from May and Queen’s bassist Neil Fairclough.
“Everything was saved on iPhones and laptops,” said May. “But it just shows that you don’t need to have a multi-million dollar studio to make a record. “
Coincidentally, We Are The Champions was originally inspired by You Will Never Walk Alone, which became an unofficial anthem of unity during the coronavirus pandemic.
At the height of their success in 1977, the group played a concert at Bingley Hall in Stafford – and when singer Freddie Mercury left the stage, the crowd began to sing the song Rodgers & Hammerstein in hopes of obtaining a reminder.
“I still remember Freddie’s face saying,” What is it? We should kiss him, we should love him and encourage him, “said May.
“So I think at that time, We Are The Champions was born, and We Will Rock You was born – because we consciously involved our audience from that point on.
” I love that. I like that about Queen and I’m proud of the fact that we sort of generated community in our audience. It’s awesome. “
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