"I view [the vaccines] as a Godsent miracle," the country star told Billboard. "It became very clear to me that the only way to really get back to normal is through vaccinations. You've got to get needles in arms."
The reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year hopes to play songs from his triple album project Heart & Soul to full audiences once his fall arena tour launches. For that to happen, he'll need country music fans' help to put the coronavirus pandemic in his rear-view mirror.
"If you believe you shouldn't, I don't have a problem with it. I'm a liberty guy, too. I get it," Church said of the percentage of Americans against getting vaccinated. "But I view this a little differently than most other things. We've never encountered this.
"I just want to play shows. Politics' job is to divide — that's how you win elections,' Church continued. "Those things that unite us are music and sports. The times when, whether you're a Democrat or Republican or whatever, you throw your arm around the person next to you."
Billboard reports that Church's conversations with epidemiologists, venue managers and Nashville insiders initially made it sound like large-scale live shows might not return until early 2023. However, vaccines have shortened that timeline, allowing for the recent slew of summer and fall festival announcements.
The Super Bowl tops the short list of major events from the past year with any sort of live audience. Church sang the National Anthem at the big game alongside Jazmine Sullivan.