Jerry Falwell Jr. urges people to get vaccinated while insulting ‘nutcase’ governor
Jerry Falwell Jr. on Thursday said he received his COVID-19 vaccination and encouraged others to do the same, while in the same online post knocking what he called Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) “mindless restrictions.”
“Got the 1st Moderna vaccination today!” Falwell wrote in a post on Instagram, calling on his followers to “get vaccinated so our nutcase of a Governor will have less reasons for mindless restrictions.”
Falwell, who resigned as president of Liberty University in Virginia last year after a series of scandals, has been a critic of coronavirus restrictions in the state.
The school had several thousand students on campus in late March of last year, despite Trump administration officials and the state of Virginia calling for social distancing at the start of the pandemic in the U.S.
Northam criticized the move at the time, encouraging Falwell to “look to the actions of the leaders of Virginia’s flagship universities.”
In May, Falwell also sparked backlash after mocking Northam’s order requiring Virginia residents to wear face masks. Falwell designed a mask with the photo of a student in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe that appeared on the governor’s medical school yearbook page and shared an image of it on Twitter.
“If I am ordered to wear a mask, I will reluctantly comply, but only if this picture of Governor Blackface himself is on it!” Falwell shared in a since-deleted tweet.
He later apologized for the tweet, sharing that he “refreshed the trauma that image had caused and offended some by using the image to make a political point.”
Falwell was criticized by Black alumni following the incident, with some saying they would stop encouraging students to attend the Lynchburg, Va., school and end their donations. A slate of Black student-athletes and staff members also left the school over the incident.