Patti Smith was due to perform at We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert on Saturday night. However, after her set was cancelled due to bad weather, she spoke to CNN about COVID, the climate crisis and the fall of Kabul.
After inclement weather forced Smith and her band to leave the Central Park event site, the rock icon spoke to CNN’s Anderson Cooper live on air. Cooper asked Smith to share some of what she had planned to say onstage that night.
“We’re at the crux of a continuing global viral pandemic and an environmental pandemic,” said Smith. “And these are things that are important to acknowledge, even within a night of celebration.”
We Love NYC was conceived as a celebration of the return to “normal” post-COVID. Hurricane weather and the worsening Delta outbreak somewhat scuppered those plans, however.
“We can’t completely celebrate certain states of things,” said Smith. “There are fires all over the world. There’s flooding, there’s drought, there’s famine, there is the earthquake in Haiti, the fall of Kabul. The Delta variant is speedily permeating the people.”
Smith particularly underlined the severity of the climate crisis and what needs to be done in response. “There is something even bigger than the viral pandemic and that is the environmental pandemic,” she said. “We have to look upon our world … and see that we are really in trouble. It’s gonna take effort from every single one of us.”
She also rubbished the notion of returning to so-called normal. “Things are not going to go back to where they were. We have to face the new world and we have to face the new world with a certain amount of willingness to sacrifice and make change.”