That's how Merriam-Webster, which has been in the dictionary business for more than 190 years, defines who an anti-vaxxer is. The part about a person who opposes vaccination is fine, of course. But the second part is patently delusional.
To unpack this definition simply: One can be vaccinated, which doesn't make that individual anti-vaxx. But if that person opposes laws that mandate vaccinations, that somehow makes that same person anti-vaxx... despite being vaccinated.
If your hair hurts right now trying to process how Merriam-Webster came to that conclusion, it should. Particularly when looking at the numbers:
Overall in the U.S., the Biden administration says 75 percent of adults have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, a goal that National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: Pfizer booster may be crucial against omicron Former Trump FDA commissioner says yearly COVID-19 boosters may be needed Fauci: It's 'when, not if' definition of fully vaccinated will change MORE said back in January would help the U.S. return to a "degree of normality."
Fauci says the US could see a 'degree of normality' by fall if 70-85% of Americans are vaccinated by end of summer https://t.co/0YNsUCuj6f— Politics Insider (@PoliticsInsider) January 21, 2021
Amazingly, however, the death toll in the U.S. was higher over Labor Day weekend 2021 than over Labor Day weekend 2020, when there was no vaccine. The more-contagious delta variant is overwhelmingly the cause, with the unvaccinated overwhelmingly adding to the death toll.
Only 45 percent of American adults support vaccination passports for going to work, according to Gallup. Just 44 percent support vaccine passports when staying at a hotel. And fewer – 40 percent – say it should be required for dining indoors at a restaurant.
So, according to Merriam-Webster, those who fall into the majority category on vaccine passports for work or hotels or restaurants are anti-vaxx, even though there's a good chance they're among the 75 percent who have received at least one shot.
That makes zero sense.
This isn't the first time Merriam-Webster has taken a political side. One notable occasion occurred after the 2016 presidential election that resulted in Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJury in Jussie Smollett trial begins deliberations Pence says he'll 'evaluate' any requests from Jan. 6 panel Biden's drug overdose strategy pushes treatment for some, prison for others MORE becoming president:
We've updated our Twitter header in honor of the election. pic.twitter.com/mOFT8sUlVD— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) November 7, 2016
Not hyperbolic at all. Did Merriam-Webster give woke interns the keys to the Twitter account?
When asked about the tweet, Adam Maid, Merriam-Webster’s social media and content manager, insisted the tweet wasn’t meant to be partisan.
In March 2017, Trump misspelled the word “hereby” in tweets calling for an investigation of House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse passes bills to pressure China amid Olympic boycott House passes bill to strengthen shipping supply chain Overnight Defense & National Security — Biden: US troops to Ukraine 'not on the table' MORE (D-Calif.) over her alleged “close ties to Russia” after a 2010 meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Merriam-Webster was again ready to throw shade, which is odd when considering it's a dictionary company:
OK, OK.— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) March 3, 2017
And it didn't stop with Trump, as Merriam-Webster began jumping into more and more political fights, and always taking the liberal side.
In 2020, the dictionary modified its definition of “sexual preference” by inserting the word “offensive." Why? Because Democrats were offended by Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettBiden Supreme Court study panel unanimously approves final report Trump came in contact with 500 people between first positive test and hospitalization: report Neil Gorsuch's terrifying paragraph MORE's use of the benign term during Senate confirmation hearings:
As recently as last month, Webster’s Dictionary included a definition of “preference” as “orientation” or “sexual preference.” TODAY they changed it and added the word “offensive."— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) October 14, 2020
Insane - I just checked through Wayback Machine and it’s real.
(via @ThorSvensonn & @chadfelixg) pic.twitter.com/oOq1SNtCP2
Racism also was given an additional definition to appease the uber-woke.
Again, this is a dictionary company, not the Lincoln Project or CNN.
Back to reality. COVID-19 is spiking again, with more than 300,000 new cases on Sept. 7 alone in the United States. On Sept. 7, 2020, there were just over 25,000 new cases. Again, that's without the vaccines.
President BidenJoe BidenPharma lobby eyes parliamentarian Demand for US workers reaches historic high Biden to award Medal of Honor to three soldiers who fought in Iraq, Afghanistan: report MORE promised to get the virus under control on Day 1 of his presidency.
We will get this virus under control. pic.twitter.com/59iC1nyR0N— President Biden (@POTUS) January 22, 2021
That hasn't happened. Not even close.
Does Merriam-Webster have a new definition for “sinking” — or do the changes only apply when the Red Team is the target?
Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist for The Hill.