Fox News hosts urge viewers to get vaccinated following criticisms of network
A pair of Fox News hosts on Monday urged viewers of the network to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, dismissing conspiracy theories about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
“Well, here’s the thing. And one of the CDC officials said yesterday, look, the pandemic right now is really just with people who have not been vaccinated. Ninety-nine percent of the people who died have not been vaccinated. What they are trying to do is make sure that all of the people who have not been vaccinated get vaccinated,” Steve Doocy said Monday on “Fox & Friends.”
“Unfortunately, and this is one of the reasons apparently that Joe Biden and the administration came out last week, the administration very frustrated. They have not been able to get Facebook to get rid of some of the disinformation. The disinformation is online: The vaccine is killing lots and lots of people or it changes your DNA or there are little microchips. None of that is true.”
After co-host Ainsley Earhardt noted the recent concerted effort coming from the White House to fight the proliferation of vaccine misinformation, Doocy spoke directly to viewers, saying, “If you have the chance, get the shot, it will save your life.”
During a separate segment on Monday’s “Fox & Friends,” co-host and anchor Bill Hemmer asked Fox News medical contributor Marc Siegel: “The vaccine works, right? We haven’t budged on that, have we, doc?”
“The vaccine works extremely well even against the delta variant, preventing infection in 90 percent of cases,” Siegel responded.
The comments from the Fox News personalities come amid criticism the network has been hit with over controversial comments some hosts have made about local lockdown measures, face mask mandates, vaccine science and the pandemic as a whole.
Last week, The New York Times published a story detailing a litany comments made by prime-time hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham that the outlet said ran “at odds with the recommendations of health experts” relative to vaccines.
Carlson at one point suggested on his program, the highest-rated cable news show in the country, that President Biden’s administration is trying to “force people to take medicine they don’t want or need,” the Times noted. Ingraham has decried an effort Biden recently suggested would involve health officials going “door to door” to urge people to get vaccinated “creepy stuff.”
In February, Fox News debuted a vaccine-focused PSA featuring hosts Harris Faulkner, Doocy, Dana Perino and John Roberts asking Americans to “keep up the fight” against COVID-19.
Fox Business host Larry Kudlow, a former Trump administration official, has repeatedly mentioned getting the vaccine and the importance of it.
“Skyrocketing vaccinations is the single best stimulus of all, and the skyrocketing vaccinations will reopen virtually the entire economy,” Kudlow said in March. “We are on our way. Herd immunity is coming this spring.”
Carlson and Ingraham have not revealed their vaccination status on air or elsewhere.
As the delta variant, now the dominant strain in the United States, spreads through the country, mostly among unvaccinated people, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and other leading health officials are pleading with social media companies and news outlets to help them fight the amount of false information being shared online about vaccines.
“We are still seeing a proliferation of misinformation online, and we know that health misinformation harms people’s health. It costs them their lives,” Murthy said on Sunday.
“It’s not entirely about the tech companies. I issued this advisory to call the entire country to action, recognizing their steps all of us can take. Technology companies have an important role,” Murthy said. “Each of us has a decision that we make every time we post something on social media, and I’m asking people to pause and to see is a source accurate, is it coming from a scientifically credible authority, and if it’s not or if you’re not sure, don’t share.”