Tucker Carlson doesn’t seem to understand how vaccines and herd immunity work, and continued to argue during Tuesday’s episode of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that healthy people shouldn’t get a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Fox News host doubled down on his insistence that wearing masks doesn’t prevent the spread of the pandemic. During his monologue, Tucker somehow managed to cast blame on people who don’t get vaccinated while also encouraging people to be skeptical about getting their shots. He also supported podcaster Joe Rogan’s recent comments that “healthy 21-year old” people shouldn’t get their COVID vaccines.
Tucker then cut to a clip of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle P. Walensky explaining why people should still wear masks even if they’re partially immunized to COVID. “Right now, it’s very hard to tease apart who is vaccinated, where they are in their vaccinations, so it’s not just to protect themselves but largely to protect others and really to protect the unvaccinated,” Walensky said, which is why it’s best to take extra precautions when going out in public.
“Wearing masks is really to protect the unvaccinated. The vaccine is now universally available, everyone can get it. But because some people have chosen not to get the vaccine, the rest of us must continue to live as if we haven’t gotten the vaccine either,” Tucker said resentfully.
He’s not exactly wrong, that is how it needs to work — for a bit. Not being in a high-risk group of people doesn’t make someone immune to infection and in order to achieve herd immunity — a point where society is protected from a disease because the population is either immune through previous infection or vaccination — as many people as possible need to get their shots. Plus, plenty of people could carry the disease unwittingly and pass it on if they’re asymptomatic and haven’t been tested.
And even if someone has gotten COVID-19, a vaccine could help ease complications in recovering from it. Yale Medicine recently asserted that getting the vaccine can help with what scientists have called “long COVID,” or symptoms of the virus that stick around for months, like shortness of breath or chronic cough.
Tucker Carlson also criticized MSNBC’s Joy Reid for suggesting that people who refuse to get vaccinated should be charged with felony misdemeanors for recklessly endangering other people. “Oh wait a second, Harvard-educated race lady,” Tucker called Reid, “now you’re really confusing us. If you’ve gotten the vaccine, why is other people’s refusal to get the vaccine a problem for you? If the vaccine is so effective, why are the people who choose to get it mad at the people who choose not to?”
With a trademark Tucker “huh?,” he continued this line of questioning, adding, “Do people who have slimmed down from gastric bypass yell at fat people on the street? It’s not really their business. Your body, your choice, remember,” Tucker said, mocking the pro-abortion phrase. “But your body, your choice is definitely not the standard with the COVID vaccine; with the COVID vaccine, it’s your body, MSNBC’s choice.”
Check out Tucker’s full remarks at the top of the page.