Garth Brooks made sure he was Covid-free for his performance at the U.S. presidential inauguration by taking a test just before he hit Capitol Hill.
The country star performed an emotional rendition of Amazing Grace after Joe Biden was sworn in as America’s 46th leader at the ceremony in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.
However, he was heavily criticised for shaking hands and hugging the incoming president and Vice President Kamala Harris, as well as former presidents including George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, as well as the first ladies who were in attendance.
He was also lambasted for not wearing a face mask while at the ceremony, and not adhering to social distancing guidelines as he was making sure to shake hands with all attendees.
“Really hope Garth Brooks is in good health after hugging the majority of America’s living former presidents,” one viewer wrote on Twitter.
Amid the controversy, a representative for the singer has insisted he had taken every precaution in advance.
The rep told U.S. news show Today that Garth had tested negative for Covid-19 for three days prior to his performance and again hours before his performance in Washington, D.C.
Brooks also faced criticism from his more conservative fans for agreeing to sing at Democrat Biden’s inauguration, but he responded, “This is not a political statement, this is a statement of unity.”