Texas is seeing record-breaking numbers of new COVID-19 infections, with 8,123 on Wednesday

By Ally Mauch
July 02, 2020 12:15 PM
Andrew Chin/Getty

Rapper Vanilla Ice has canceled his performance at the Emerald Point Bar & Grill in Austin, Texas, on Friday, amid a significant surge in coronavirus cases in the state.

"Basically I'm not going. I listened to my fans, I hear all you people out there. I didn't know the numbers were so crazy in Austin. We were hoping it would be a lot better by Fourth of July because we booked this concert a long time ago. Basically, just want to stay safe. We do take it serious and we want to make sure that everybody is safe. We were hoping for a good time on the Fourth of July weekend. But it turned into a big focal point on me and it's not about that," he said in a video on Thursday.

"Due to the increase in COVID-19 numbers in Austin we're gonna move the concert to a better date. We were hoping for better Coronavirus numbers by July but Unfortunately the numbers have increased quite a bit so for the safety and health of everyone we’re going to stay home," he captioned his footage.

Vanilla Ice, whose real name is Robert Matthew Van Winkle, was set to headline the outdoor concert, which was scheduled to take place in celebration of the Fourth of July holiday.

“We are looking forward to a fun and safe weekend with good friends, good food, and good music while celebrating America,” the bar wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

Artists Myke Miller and Hip Hip Hooray were scheduled to perform at the event, called the “Independence Day Throwback Beach Party.”

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Texas is currently seeing record-breaking numbers of new COVID-19 cases, with 8,123 on Wednesday, according to data from The New York Times. The number of hospitalizations in the state — 6,904, as of July 1 — has more than quadrupled since Memorial Day, when bars and restaurants reopened.

In an executive order issued on June 26, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered bars to close again, and restaurants to reduce their capacity. Gatherings of over 100 people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions, the order said.

“At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars,” Abbott said in a release. “The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and enhance public health.”

On Monday, Vanilla Ice shared a video to his Instagram page featuring a crowd of fans from a previous concert, captioning the post, "I can't wait to get back to this."

"The '90s were the best. We didn't have coronavirus, or cell phones, or computers," he continued. "We had 5.0s, blockbuster, Beavis and Butthead, Wayne's World, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan. And Mortal Kombat is still better than fortnight [sic] but we got out of the house, We danced, we invented house parties in the '90s."

"The last of the great decades," the rapper concluded, adding the hashtag #IMissThenineties.

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