Vax resisters could be tricked into getting the shot if they thought it would make liberals mad: sociologist
The conspiracy originally took root in the United States but has spread to Europe Joseph Prezioso AFP

With the novel coronavirus surging in Trump-backing states that have low rates of vaccination, many public health experts have been trying to figure out how to get vaccine resisters to take the shots.

Dartmouth sociologist Brooke Harrington tells journalist Charlie Warzel that she believes that many Trump supporters could be essentially fooled into taking the vaccine by playing on their negative partisanship.

Harrington says that the problem right now is that many of these people may know deep down that the vaccines will keep them safe, but they don't want to back down from their previous anti-vax stances because they've made resistance to vaccines part of their identities.

"The problem is that they have too much to lose from publicly backing off this stance now," she told Warzel.

This is where Fox News could come in.

If someone could convince Tucker Carlson or Laura Ingraham to make getting vaccinated part of an "own-the-libs" culture war campaign, says Harrington, it could really boost the ranks of the vaccinated.

"That message would align vaccination with the overarching norm of their current politics: that conservatives exist to oppose and humiliate liberals," she says. "If I were designing the most effective message for somebody like Tucker Carlson, it would be something like, 'liberals are furious that conservatives are getting vaccinated now because they were hoping we'd all die.' I'd couch vaccine as act of opposition to liberals."

Read the whole interview here.