Fox News host Tucker Carlson is being accused of promoting coronavirus vaccine skepticism and anti-vaxxer talking points when he posed questions Monday night as if they were unanswered and legitimate – questions that have been very publicly answered for months.
"So all of this should prompt some pretty tough questions for our public health experts in this country," Carlson insisted to several hundred thousand viewers. "And one of those questions is, how effective is this coronavirus vaccine? How necessary is it to take the vaccine? Don't dismiss those questions from 'anti-vaxxers,'" he said scornfully.
"Don't kick people off social media for asking them, answer the questions."
"The administration would like you to take this vaccine. Joe Biden told you last week if you don't you can't celebrate the Fourth of July. But it turns out there are things we don't know about the effects of this vaccine — and all vaccines by the way."
Americans generally agree that the job of a journalist is to inform, to deliver news and information, not to ask basic questions that are easily answered because – in this case – the federal government and the vaccine manufacturers have already answered them.
These are not state secrets, but as many on social media noted, when you posed them as if they were, you're promoting anti-vaxx skepticism, and during a pandemic, that is potentially deadly.
Watch Carlson from his Monday night show:
These questions Tucker thinks you aren't allowed to ask are literally just a google search away, theres so many answers to these questions available on the computer you keep in your pocket pic.twitter.com/kcnTVciA6O
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) March 16, 2021
Last year CNN reported Carlson makes $10 million a year. And while the combined annual salaries of everyone I know don't reach that staggering umber, let's do Tucker's job for him.
Just going to Google and entering "how e" literally gave me the answer:
And, as most Americans already know, the vaccines range between about 85% effective (Johnson & Johnson, one dose shot) to about 95% effective (Moderna and Pfizer, two-dose shots.)
But Carlson thinks the government is hiding this information. It's not.
Media Matters has a longer clip here.
Here's how some are reacting:
The vaccines are hugely effective that's why Rupert Murdoch got it as soon as he possibly could. You'll remember Rupert Murdoch, he's Tuckers boss.
pic.twitter.com/ymJfCy5gFo — Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) March 16, 2021
No hyperbole: Tucker Carlson is assuming responsibility for the deaths of thousands who are watching this and deciding to forego a vaccine or the folks coming into contact with them. Understand the gravity of this moment. Carlson is sending people to their deaths. https://t.co/Xln7Qi2TvC
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) March 16, 2021
Tucker Carlson is leading his show undermining public confidence in the Covid vaccines, saying public health experts need to face questions about them: "One of those questions is: 'How effective is this coronavirus vaccine? How necessary is it to take the vaccine?'"
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) March 16, 2021
Tucker Carlson is pushing anti-vaxxer talking points pic.twitter.com/rh3AzoTrGM
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 16, 2021
I can't stand Rupar but gotta agree with him on this. That was one of the worst Tucker Carlson episodes in memory. On top of the overt vaccine skepticism and alarmism...he followed that segment with a visit from Tusli Gabbard, who is not exactly pro-vaccine.
— Don Quixotic (@DonQuixotic7) March 16, 2021
Tucker is on his show right now pushing vaccine skepticism, so he's prob out...🤦♀️
— kdenn98 (@kdenn98) March 16, 2021
Your reminder that Rupert Murdoch, who controls Fox, immediately got himself a Covid vaccine when he was able to in December. Yet he pays for his top host to go on TV and undermine the public's confidence in them. https://t.co/KOLI0skXuR
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) March 16, 2021
Tonight on Fox Propaganda, white supremacist rape apologist Tucker Carlson did a segment to criticize the effectiveness of the Covid vaccine.
His evil employer Rupert Murdoch went to the UK to get a vaccine once they had it ready way before the US, that's how effective, dirtbag. — Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) March 16, 2021
Tucker asks, “How effective is this coronavirus vaccine?" Answer: 100% effective against hospitalization and death. Tucker asks, “How necessary is it to take the vaccine?" Answer: The lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans depend on it. https://t.co/35WvClHCPM
— Jonathan Reiner (@JReinerMD) March 16, 2021
Anybody airing Tucker Carlson: @comcast@CoxComm@Verizon@ATT needs to be boycotted if they don't demand his removal from the fox network. Spreading false information about the covid vaccine is going to literally kill Americans. The death toll rises every day.
— Tim (@brainboygenius) March 16, 2021
I came here to say that exact thing. Tucker Carlson spewing lies about the vaccine while his employer Rupert Murdoch couldn't get it fast enough. Smh
— Virginia Buysse (@VirginiaBuysse) March 16, 2021
Well I guess Tucker is into eliminating half his audience by scaring them into avoiding vaccines. There's going to be a massive Darwin Awards hand out later this year. https://t.co/hgsDQ0x5Jb
— Alice aka Moon Cat (@mooncat_alice) March 16, 2021
Well tucker, a man of your intelligence has the ability to read the data and studies. And wouldn't you know it, they're easily accessible. Either commit them to memory so you don't sound stupid or better prepare for your next segment when talking about vaccines and their safety https://t.co/1gQlgPI0J9
— matt (@Arthur85Matt) March 16, 2021