Following Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson's misinformation-ridden vaccine comments on the radio, CNN published a lengthy fact-check taking down all of the false claims he made.
"Johnson ... said he was 'sticking up for people who choose not to get vaccinated,'" reported Holmes Lybrand and Tara Subramaniam. "In Thursday's interview with conservative radio host Vicki McKenna, Johnson suggested there have been thousands of deaths connected to Covid-19 vaccinations and that receiving a vaccine could be particularly dangerous for those who had previously been infected."
"To defend his position and call into question the safety of Covid-19 vaccines, Johnson cited numbers from the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which allows anyone to submit a report. Johnson said that according to the system, 'we're over 3000 deaths after within 30 days of taking the vaccine,' suggesting these deaths were tied to Covid-19 vaccines." This has become a common talking point, with Fox News' Tucker Carlson making similar claims. But the CDC has consistently warned not to conflate VAERS reports with actual cases of vaccine injury, as the events submitted to it are not verified.
Last year, Johnson was one of several GOP senators who had to go into quarantine after he tested positive for COVID-19 — and another false claim he made during the interview was that people who have already had the virus, like himself, are at elevated risk of vaccine injury: "I'm talking to doctors who have, since day one, been concerned about vaccinating people who've already had Covid, because you die, not of Covid, you die of the immune system overreaction to Covid. So there's a concern there."
"This is wrong. The vaccines currently being administered in the US are considered safe and recommended even for individuals who were previously infected with Covid-19," noted the report. "Dr. Walter Orenstein, associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center, told CNN he was 'not aware of any data to support Senator Johnson's allegation.'"
You can read more here.