Here’s how Roger Stone brought anti-vax conspiracy theorists into the Republican Party

Notorious GOP dirty trickster Roger Stone has become a "key connector" bringing anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists into the Republican Party.

"In October, a conference filled with anti-vaccine activists in Nashville, Tenn., received a high-profile political guest: former President Donald Trump's son, Eric Trump," NPR reported. "The day before Trump's speech, a homeopathic doctor named Edward Group stood on the same stage and suggested to the audience they should drink their urine as an alternative to getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Another speaker, Carrie Madej, said that the vaccines contained microscopic technology designed to put 'another kind of nervous system inside you.' The true purpose of the vaccines, she claimed, was to turn humans into cyborgs."

NPR noted that pre-COVID, the anti-vaccine movement was largely nonpartisan, with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. supporting some liberal causes while "well-known anti-vaccine activist" Del Bigtree describes himself as a registered Democrat.

"Stone, who spoke at the conference, says he's quite open to some of the ideas presented there about vaccines. But he also sees the shot as a powerful wedge issue that Republicans can use to motivate conservative voters during next year's midterm elections. Citing public polls, Stone says that in particular, vaccine mandates are 'highly likely' to be a campaign issue," NPR reported. "But the result of this union increasingly appears to be an even higher death toll from COVID, in part because it's causing many people to resist getting the shot."

The gambit appears to be that it's okay for Republicans to sacrifice their own voters if it helps them win during the 2022 midterms.

"Between conservative media and GOP politicians, many Republican voters are being pummeled with bad science about vaccines almost daily. Kaiser's polling found that 94% of Republicans think one or more false statements about COVID-19 and vaccine safety might be true," NPR noted.

Read the full report.