Zac Brown has sent an emotional message to fans about severe cuts he’s had to make to his crew, why it’s a life-or-death matter for young people to be out partying, and how Americans are having to make decisions for themselves in lieu of strong political leadership.

Manager Scooter Braun also shared the video on his account. “Beyond proud of Zac for using his voice and so sorry for him for the action he had to take,” wrote Braun, in sharing his client’s video message. “We are better than this. Take it seriously and let’s come together.”

Brown begins by saying he’s had to lay off nearly the entirety of the crew since postponing chunks of a 40-city-plus tour of arenas and amphitheaters by the Zac Brown Band that was set to begin March 26 and run through Oct. 25. (So far only the dates through the end of April have been officially called off, although others, obviously, are likely to follow.)

“It’s a hard day today,” Brown says. “For the last 15 years, my crew and who I carry with me out on the road to do my shows and do what we do — I’ve had to let go of about 90% of my family, the people that I travel with and do my business with. The people I high-five ‘em way off to the side of the stage and the people who have done their jobs and done ‘em well. I hate having to make this call, but I can’t generate out there and I can’t tour because of the coronavirus and everyone’s safety.”

“And I’m fine with that,” he continues. “But I’ve got this message that I want to say to the people that aren’t taking this seriously, and the people who are out partying and the people that are sitting on beaches and the people that don’t care if they get this virus or take it home to their grandparents and maybe kill their grandparents or complicate their lives. The longer that America doesn’t take this seriously and doesn’t stay in and try to contain this, the longer that everyone’s gonna be out of jobs; the longer that we’re gonna be pushed into this recession that we’re all about to enter into.

“The sickness has just begun here. It’s just started to rear its head. So you need to wake up. You need to stay indoors and try to socially distance yourself and stay inside. Because America can heal from this. America can come together. We can celebrate with music, we can celebrate with song, we can celebrate on video chat. But the sooner that we take action on this, and we don’t wait on our government to tell us that this was a serious issue and that this should be…” He pauses.

“You know, we’re late to the game,” Brown says, getting angrier. “I’m pretty ashamed of the way that our leadership’s handled all of this. I’m pretty ashamed of a lot of things. We can’t rely on our government to tell people what they need to do. You can read between the lines. You can read all of the articles of everything happening everywhere around the world, and we’re less protected than a lot of those countries, because no one can tell us what to do. We have to decide for ourselves as Americans that we have to look out for the future of all of our jobs and for the economy and for each other.

“So I love to spread music and spread love in song and share music with the world. I’m gonna do my best to do that from closed doors. But if we’re gonna heal from this and we’re gonna get back to doing what we were doing before this hit, then everyone’s gotta take this seriously.”