Media

Geraldo Rivera knocks 'crazy' talk about right not to be vaccinated: 'We too have rights'

Fox News's Geraldo Rivera on Monday knocked "crazy talk" on cable television about people "having the constitutional right not to get vaccinated."

"Yes (they may be dopey) but they do have that right. We too have rights: to deny the unvaccinated access to our home, school or business," Rivera wrote on Twitter.

Rivera has been vocal in urging people to get vaccinated. His wife Erica Rivera posted a video of the cable news personality slamming "vaccine skepticism" on Sunday, telling his followers that he is "extremely concerned about the fact that there are way too many Americans who are skeptical of the efficacy of the vaccine."

"The Moderna, the Pfizer, the Johnson and Johnson vaccines, they are safe and effective. They have been used now by almost 200 million Americans. So stop the bulls---. They are safe and effective, period," Rivera continued.

"I hate vaccine skeptics who are spreading malicious lies," he added.

The cable news personality then turned to his colleagues at Fox News, some of whom have been accused of amplifying false claims about the vaccine and contributing to hesitancy.

He said he "cautioned them" to be careful about what they say.

"I have examined my colleagues at Fox News who have been alleged to be part of that process. I cautioned everybody, including them, to be careful what you say," Rivera said.

He argued, however, that "the charges against them were grotesquely exaggerated. They were talking about personal freedoms, and I believe in personal freedoms. They weren't talking about the vaccines not working."

"The vaccines work, dammit. The vaccines work," he added.

"Almost 200 million Americans have been vaccinated. I don't mean to come on so strong. I believe this very, very deeply. Unvaccinated people get sick, vaccinated people do not get sick. Do not get sick. And anyone who's giving you a bulls--- story otherwise is lying to you for political or ideological reasons. Get vaccinated. Unvaccinated people get sick," Rivera ended the video by saying.

Last week the Fox News personality condemned nursing home workers who have not been inoculated, in response to a New York Post article that said only 67 percent of nursing home workers in New York are vaccinated, compared to 87 percent of the residents in the state's facilities.

"No Vaccine, no work, no school, no in-person shopping,"  Rivera wrote on Twitter. "You have a right not to be vaccinated. I have the right to protect my kids."

Rivera's repeated push to get people vaccinated comes as the vaccination rate in the U.S. has fallen flat, with some members of the vaccine-hesitant community still opposed to getting inoculated.

Unvaccinated individuals make up the majority of the recent COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.

There has been a particular focus on Republicans when it comes to encouraging vaccinations, after polls revealed in April that many on the right had a lingering hesitancy to get inoculated.

A Fox News host on Monday made an effort to encourage his viewers to get vaccinated, dismissing conspiracy theories about the safety and efficacy of the shots.

"Well, here's the thing. And one of the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] 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," host 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 their little microchips. None of that is true," he continued.

Doocy then spoke directly to Fox News viewers, telling them, "If you have the chance, get the shot. It will save your life."

More than 161 million Americans are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC, which translates to 48.6 percent of the total population.

According to the CDC, 56.8 percent of people ages 12 and older in the U.S. are fully vaccinated.

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