Fox News hosts have spent the better part of the past year-and-a-half questioning the seriousness of COVID-19, from fasely claiming that it would disappear, attacking masks, calling to abolish social distancing, to questioning the vaccine, and even implying that the vaccine would kill you.
Things started to change this week, as Fox host Sean Hannity called on his viewers to get the vaccine. After resisting the vaccine for six months, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) heeded Hannity's call and agreed to get it. Still, there are many right-wing media hosts who are refusing to support the vaccine, even if they got the shot themselves.
Tucker Carlson has been among the worst offenders and has dedicated his show to talk about the number of people who have died after taking the vaccine -- even though their deaths in the vast majority of these cases were completely unrelated to getting vaccinated.
MSNBC's Chris Hayes on Tuesday pointed out that Fox News now seems to be going all-in on vaccines behind the scenes. The network is now requiring vaccine passports for people to come into work, something that Republicans like Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) have banned in Florida.
"It is undeniably the case that one of the main issues we are facing in combatting this disease 18 months into this is a kind of radicalization of the American right against vaccination," said Hayes. "For all of the back-and-forth between the White House and Facebook this week about how much responsibility the social network bares for Americans' failure to have higher vaccination rates, there's one other very obvious source of vaccine disinformation night in and night out that is not Facebook that's the big problem here."
Hayes then ran a collection of COVID-19 vaccine denialism displayed on Fox News. The result has become that the severity of the delta variant is killing people in red states, supporters of Donald Trump and some of the most vocal anti-vaxxers.
"Every one of those soundbites was from Fox News last night," Hayes continued. "They're not true. I mean, there are people who are unvaccinated -- that are vaccinated who have gotten breakthrough cases but by and large it is a pandemic of unvaccinated."
Hayes then cited research from Media Matters documenting how 60 percent of all Fox segments on vaccines over a two-week period undermined trust in them.
What's more, Hayes said that many Fox hosts are undermining vaccines in an almost passive-aggressive manner that gives them plausible deniability about their true intentions.
"It is almost always done in the most cowardly way imaginable," he said. "You saw it in those clips there. It's not don't get vaccinated, [it's] 'we're just asking questions.' 'We don't take a position.' 'Don't take medical advice from people on TV.' 'They're trying to get you to comply so you should not comply.' It's anti-pro-vax and all stoking fears and misgivings about every other single intervention that could save lives whether that was social distancing, closing bars and nightclubs and masking indoors."
Watch his commentary below:
the fox death toll www.youtube.com