Tucker Carlson Doubles Down on Batsh** Vaccine Fearmongering, Blames Biden For His Inability to Understand Facts
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson gets great ratings, frequently beating the competition in his timeslot. You’d think that he would have a vested interest in keeping his audience members alive, so they can continue delivering those ratings figures that so far have granted him job security despite some of the unhinged and unfounded nonsense he has peddled on his eponymous program, Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Thursday night, Carlson doubled down on his “wildly irresponsible speculation” about the Covid-19 vaccines, as Mediaite’s Josh Feldman labeled it.
Others were even less charitable to Carlson: “dangerous, historically- and scientifically- illiterate bullshit,” “this is fucking evil,” “friggin idiocy,” and “one of the worst things [Fox News] has ever aired.”
CNN’s normally mild-mannered medical expert, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, was visibly irate reacting to Carlson’s comments. “We could be in much better position if it were not for people like Tucker Carlson who continue to embolden this vaccine hesitance,” said Gupta. “It’s really very irritating.” Even Fox News’ own medical expert subtweeted Carlson for his profoundly flawed take.
Here’s what Carlson did to earn these epithets. He told his millions of viewers that he was pro-vaccine and insisted that he was not saying the vaccines were dangerous, but then immediately launched into a rant about “the apparent death rate from the coronavirus vaccines,” citing data from VAERS (the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System).
As many people noted, the disclaimer that is literally on the VAERS website, written in clear language: “As an early warning system, VAERS cannot prove that a vaccine caused a problem. Specifically, a report to VAERS does not mean that a vaccine caused an adverse event. But VAERS can give CDC and FDA important information. If it looks as though a vaccine might be causing a problem, FDA and CDC will investigate further and take action if needed.”
— Decoherence (@DecoherenceWave) May 7, 2021
VAERS was founded in 1990 by the CDC and FDA, and it collects data about any adverse health incidents or deaths that occur after a vaccine is administered. It does not prove — or even speculate — as to causation. It only reports if something happens after, not why it might have happened.
As Dr. Pradheep J. Shanker explained to Mediaite editor-in-chief Aidan McLaughlin:
[VAERS] was proposed as a form of national warning system, to alert medical experts to possible safety problems with commonly used vaccines. The system was built as a passive apparatus, meaning that it relies on individuals to send in reports. As such, the system was never intended to determine if a vaccine caused specific health problems. The goal was to collect data, and then look for patterns that could indicate that there could be a safety problem that required further, more in-depth investigation…
VAERS was intended to cast a wide net to capture any possible or potential complication that even has the remotest possibility of being related to the vaccine. Any adverse event is considered reportable. This ranges from direct symptoms, such as fevers or hematomas, to events such as death from blunt trauma in a car accident (which, of course, is highly unlikely to be related to the vaccine)…
Carlson did nothing to filter out which deaths were expected with or without the vaccine, and which deaths can be tied to the vaccine.
Here’s what Carlson said Thursday, quoted in its entirety so there’s no confusion as to his meaning or context (video is posted above):
Yesterday morning, because we had some time, we went to the website of the federal Department of Health and Human Services. We looked up the numbers the Biden administration has gathered on vaccine safety. Then last night, we boldly read those numbers on television, the Biden numbers. As we did that, we noted the administration’s reporting system for injuries, it’s called VAERS, has been credibly accused of being inaccurate. We also noticed that very same system has been used for a long time.
What was interesting, is what the numbers showed consistently across decades, as a relative measure, one vaccine comparing to another. More deaths have been connected to the new Covid vaccines over the past four months than to all previous vaccines combined over a period of more than 15 years. Very same system, very different results.
Now, even if you concede that VAERS is flawed, and we did concede that, because it is, numbers like those over time obviously require some kind of explanation. How did this happen? So what is that explanation? We still don’t know. Instead of answering that simple and important question, the usual course of partisans begin screaming and calling for censorship. “How dare you cite the Biden administration’s numbers! Those numbers are wrong!”
Okay. So why hasn’t the Biden administration fixed its reporting system? You’d think that would be important. And more importantly, what are the real numbers? How much harm have the Covid vaccines caused? It’s not an outrageous question. All medicine can cause harm, acetaminophen can cause harm.
In this case, it’s a medicine that’s being distributed to, as the president said the other day, 70% of the U.S. population, it’s fair to ask how much harm will this medicine cause? But again, no one has told us. Their position is, you don’t need to know the rate of injury. That doesn’t matter. Anyone who asks about harm is immoral. That’s what they’re arguing. If you ever find yourself arguing that, then you will know for certain you have lost the thread. You are no longer at that point advocating for public health, you’re doing something else entirely.
First of all, as Shanker explained above, it’s not the Biden administration that is collecting this data. It’s a self-reporting system where data is submitted by hospitals, medical providers, and individual Americans. And the system itself explains the limitations of the data, an explanation that Carlson flat out ignored.
It is a fact that some Americans have died after getting a Covid-19 vaccine. But, as many, many actual doctors and scientists have pointed out, it is also true that we gave millions of doses of those vaccines to people who were elderly and/or dealing with various types of medical vulnerabilities. And that’s a good thing! The available data on Covid-19 shows that people who are older or have certain preexisting conditions are more likely to die or suffer serious health effects if they catch the virus. It is both smart and morally correct that we made an effort to make the vaccines available to these people first before expanding access to the entire American adult population.
The blunt truth is that all of us have some risk of dying on any given day. Life has a 100% risk of death, eventually. The Darwin Awards, which began as an early internet joke about “individuals who protect our gene pool by making the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives” by “eliminat[ing] themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, thereby improving our species’ chances of long-term survival,” is a notable example of the many bizarre ways that people exit this plane of existence.
Never before in American history — or human history, for that matter — have we vaccinated so many people in such a short time frame. Again, that’s a good thing! All three of the vaccines approved by the FDA for emergency use authorization (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson) have shown extremely high rates of preventing death and hospitalization from Covid-19, and there is mounting evidence that they also prevent transmission of the virus, even asymptomatic transmission.
Again, anti-Vax nonsense every night. Pretending to ask questions while ignoring answers. 1) VAERS is a self-reporting system, not Biden admin info. 2) It does not shows causation. 3) reason there is more correlation w this vaccine is we never did 2-4M shots of others daily. https://t.co/MZojCJf1uM
— AG (@AGHamilton29) May 7, 2021
So, when you give millions of doses of a vaccine to human beings who are going about their lives and doing all the things that human beings do — including texting while driving, having heart attacks, and attempting to take selfies in dangerous places — some of them are going to die. Especially when many of those people already had an elevated risk of death even if the coronavirus never existed.
Most vaccines are either tagged to a specific age (like the childhood measles and polio vaccines) or event (like a tetanus or rabies vaccine given after an exposure) so they are chronologically spaced out. We are giving the Covid-19 vaccines now to any American over the age of 16 within the past few months, and clinical trials with younger children are well on their way.
It’s basic math: the reason more Americans have died after the Covid-19 vaccine than other vaccines is because we have never given so many people a vaccine at once before.
Carlson complains that his critics say it’s “immoral” to ask what the potential risks of the vaccines are. But that is the exact purpose why VAERS was founded: to gather all potentially relevant data regarding any negative events after a vaccine, so that they can be studied and a determination made whether they are related.
By willfully ignoring the very raison d’être for VAERS, Carlson is engaging in wildly irresponsible fear-mongering that reduces the chances his viewers will want to get the vaccine. Carlson himself enjoys both personal financial independence and what we presume is a very good health insurance plan. Even without a vaccine, he isn’t facing the same level of risk as many other Americans. It’s reminiscent of former President Donald Trump’s disdain for masks and failure to disclose that he got the vaccine back in January — between Trump’s personal wealth and the level of medical care we (rightfully!) provide to our presidents, Covid-19 was not the same for him as it might be for a retired public school teacher. There are no helicopters waiting to airlift your grandmother to a private hospital room.
It’s been asked before — does Tucker Carlson want his viewers to live? — and to the horror of anyone who’s watched a loved one struggle with Covid-19, or even tragically die from it, the question is starting to become an answer.
The inescapable conclusion is that Tucker Carlson does not care if his viewers live. Why else would he continue to promulgate these inaccurate accusations and baseless questions, all designed to sow doubt and incite panic?
Mr. Carlson, if you read this, please stop this horrifically irresponsible rhetoric. We’ve lost too many Americans already.
Watch the video above, via Fox News.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.