Tucker Carlson began his Fox News show Friday night with a segment that will give you whiplash. He started by taking a sort of “just asking questions” encouragement of anti-vax sentiment against the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which he also did Thursday, and then pivoted to saying that it’s “eugenics” that non-healthcare essential workers — who are predominantly lower class and people of color — will get the vaccine earlier than white people.
You would be right to find it perplexing that he could take both of those stances at once, because why would he care who gets the vaccine first if he doesn’t think the vaccine is trustworthy anyway?
Whatever the answer is, you won’t find it in Tucker’s anti-vaccine rant on Friday night.
“According to the CDC’s panel, another group — those officially classified as ‘non-healthcare essential workers’ — should get the vaccine first,” Tucker said, making a blatantly false statement. In reality, frontline healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents — the old people that Tucker claimed to be concerned about earlier in the segment — will get the vaccine first. Essential workers come next after those two groups.
“Why is that? “Racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionately represented in many essential industries.” In other words it’s entirely racial. They’re making the decision based on race.”
This is, at best, specious logic. The decision is based on occupation, not race — these are the people who have the highest chances of contracting the virus through no fault of their own. It just happens that for once a policy decision is being made that benefits people of color.
But Tucker didn’t stop at calling this plan racist. He had to escalate it.
“Kathleen Dooling’s presentation concluded that doling out life-saving medicine on the basis of skin color would ‘mitigate health inequities,” Tucker said, twisting her words.
“Of course, it would kill people and she effectively concedes that. But the people it would kill come from a disfavored race so it’s not a big deal. It’s been a very long time since anyone close to what we consider the mainstream has endorsed eugenics and that is exactly what that is. It’s eugenics.”
Tucker’s racist statements here indicate he values the lives of white people over people of color. He’s angry that white people could die without the vaccine, and not concerned that essential workers (who are predominantly not white) could die without the vaccine.
Back in September, Fox News lawyers defended Tucker against a defamation suit by saying that he is not “stating actual facts” on his show but rather providing “non-literal commentary.” The judge in the case agreed, and declared that “any reasonable viewer” would not take him seriously.
You can watch the quoted portion of Friday night’s episode of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News in the video embedded up at the top of this article, which comes via Media Matters For America.