- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Tucker Carlson seemed unlikely late Monday to follow other Fox News personalities in urging their viewers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the contagious disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

“We never encourage anyone to take or not to take the vaccine,” Mr. Carlson said during the latest broadcast of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” his widely viewed cable program. “Obviously, we’re not doctors.”

Mr. Carlson then played a video clip of a former Fox News reporter, Carl Cameron, touting the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines prior to laughing at him loudly and calling his comments into question.

“Maybe when you know too much about someone, it’s hard to take medical advice from that person,” Mr. Carlson said about his former colleague.

“But there are a lot of those people giving you medical advice on television, and you should ignore them,” Mr. Carlson then continued. “The advice they’re giving you isn’t designed to help, it’s designed to make you comply. And you shouldn’t comply mindlessly. You’re an American adult. You’re allowed to ask simple questions and then demand clear answers. That’s why we live here. That’s your birthright.”

Several current Fox News personalities encouraged viewers Monday to get vaccinated against the virus amid the conservative-leaning cable network facing criticism for its coverage of the shots.

“Ninety-nine percent of the people who died have not been vaccinated,” “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy said hours earlier Monday. “If you have the chance, get the shot. It will save your life.

“It’s very important that people get vaccinated,” Fox News contributor Dr. Marc Siegel said in the afternoon on the network.

Sean Hannity, whose own prime-time opinion program airs immediately after “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” similarly told viewers to take the pandemic seriously during his latest broadcast late Monday night.

“Enough people have died. We don’t need any more deaths,” Mr. Hannity said on his show.

“It absolutely makes sense for many Americans to get vaccinated. I believe in science, I believe in the science of vaccination,” the host of “Hannity” added.

Nearly half the U.S. population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and public health officials are urging the rest to join them, particularly on account of the country experiencing an explosion of new cases involving the more contagious “delta” variant.

Mr. Carlson has routinely voiced skepticism regarding COVID-19 vaccinations on his program in recent weeks contrary to public health officials attesting for their safety and efficiency.

Mr. Cameron, the former Fox News reporter, accused Mr. Carlson of spreading disinformation about COVID-19 during the TV appearance played on the latter’s show Monday.

“It’s not news. It’s gaslighting. It’s propaganda,” Mr. Cameron said.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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