Home Posts Vaccine Misinformation Is Still Alive And Well On Fox News.
Vaccine Misinformation Is Still Alive And Well On Fox News.
COVID-19

Vaccine Misinformation Is Still Alive And Well On Fox News.


On Monday, Fox News host Sean Hannity pleaded with his viewers to take COVID-19 seriously and promoted the vaccine, raising eyebrows. Was the network, which has long downplayed the pandemic, questioned vaccine efficacy, and politicized both, finally using its clout in conservative America to spread accurate public health information?

It would be nice to think so, especially as the delta variant of the virus spreads across the country. However, while Hannity's monologue quickly swept across liberal corners of the internet, the viral moment probably did more for Fox News' public image than it did for vaccine uptake, which remains significantly lower among conservatives.

The roughly two

The roughly two.This week, the 59 million people who watch Hannity's show, rather than just snippets on Twitter, heard his remarks in a very different context.

The roughly two.This week, the 59 million people who watch Hannity's show, rather than just snippets on Twitter, heard his remarks in a very different context..Shortly before urging his viewers to "take [COVID-19] seriously" and stating that he "believes in the science of vaccination," Hannity railed against universities mandating the vaccine for all students "regardless of whether they had natural immunity," erroneously conflating the effects of recovering from the virus with getting vaccinated.

The roughly two.This week, the 59 million people who watch Hannity's show, rather than just snippets on Twitter, heard his remarks in a very different context..Shortly before urging his viewers to "take [COVID-19] seriously" and stating that he "believes in the science of vaccination," Hannity railed against universities mandating the vaccine for all students "regardless of whether they had natural immunity," erroneously conflating the effects of recovering from the virus with getting vaccinated..Later in his show, Hannity told the story of a woman who was temporarily paralyzed by a different vaccine in 2019 and is now refusing the COVID-19 shot, instilling fear of a highly unlikely side effect.

The roughly two.This week, the 59 million people who watch Hannity's show, rather than just snippets on Twitter, heard his remarks in a very different context..Shortly before urging his viewers to "take [COVID-19] seriously" and stating that he "believes in the science of vaccination," Hannity railed against universities mandating the vaccine for all students "regardless of whether they had natural immunity," erroneously conflating the effects of recovering from the virus with getting vaccinated..Later in his show, Hannity told the story of a woman who was temporarily paralyzed by a different vaccine in 2019 and is now refusing the COVID-19 shot, instilling fear of a highly unlikely side effect..

In the days since, Fox News has made it abundantly clear that it has no plans to reduce vaccine skepticism, and nowhere is this more evident than on Tucker Carlson's show, the network's biggest ratings juggernaut and the country's most-watched cable news show.

Here are some screenshots from the show prior to Sean Hannity's viral vaccine monologue last night: pic.twitter.com/YRjZz4B42I — Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) July 20, 2021

On Tuesday night, Carlson carried on as usual, debating the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine for the majority of his show.

“I'm not attacking vaccines or trying to persuade people not to get them at all; I never have and will never do that. But I'm against lying, and they're telling us that once you get vaccinated, you can't get it or spread it,” he said. “Here you have vaccinated people getting it and then spreading it to other vaccinated people.

In reality, the vast majority of COVID-19 outbreaks are among the unvaccinated, which still accounts for roughly half of the population, but Carlson persisted: “Weird how many vaccinated people seem to be spreading the virus at this point, so, maybe it’s not as simple as unvaccinated bad, vaccinated virtuous,” he said, later adding, “It makes you wonder if what [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi has

Carlson's rant was centered on the fact that six fully vaccinated Democratic lawmakers from Texas had tested positive for the virus in recent days, demonstrating that, as with any vaccine in history, breakthrough cases are possible. What Carlson didn't mention Tuesday night is that all of those lawmakers' cases are either largely or completely asymptomatic.

Carlson's vaccine talk was much the same on Monday night, as it has been for months, and Laura Ingraham, another top Fox News star, was right there with him this week, referring to the shot as the "experimental vaccine" and the "emergency use vaccine" while painting the push for inoculation as a government conspiracy on Monday and Tuesday's episodes of "The Ingraham Angle."

“The more you try to coerce people, the more suspicion grows,” Ingraham said, adding that the more defensive experts are about answering legitimate questions, the more questions they end up raising.

Perhaps most bizarrely, after more than a year of the coronavirus being a constant presence in the United States and killing over 600,000 Americans, Ingraham told her viewers Tuesday: "This virus may indeed be seasonal."

Despite the network instituting a strict COVID-19 policy in its offices, similar to the ones Hannity, Carlson, and Ingraham have railed against, vaccine opposition on Fox News airwaves continues to play out, according to a Media Matters report.

Steve Doocy, co-host of the popular morning show “Fox & Friends,” is the one Fox News personality who has consistently spoken positively and accurately about the vaccine. On Monday’s show, he implored viewers: “If you have the chance, get the shot. It will save your life.” He’s been making similar remarks on air for months, even as his own co-hosts contradict him.

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