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How Fox News hosts started attacking COVID-19 vaccines after Biden took over the rollout from Trump


Carlson anti-vacc

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In December last year, an 89-year-old man in Oxfordshire, England, was among the first patients in the UK to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The man was Rupert Murdoch, billionaire CEO of a sprawling media empire that includes Fox News and The New York Post, as well as a range of prestigious titles in the UK and Australia. 

After receiving the jab, Murdoch thanked Britain’s National Health Service “and the amazing scientists who have made this vaccine possible.”

“I strongly encourage people around the world to get the vaccine as it becomes available,” wrote the News Corp chairman. 

Yet on Murdoch’s Fox News network, which is run by his son, Lachlan, some of its top-rated hosts have had a very different message for viewers. 

In a segment of his top-rated show on February 10, host Tucker Carlson alleged that unspecified powerful forces are “lying” about the vaccine, and trying to suppress questions being asked about it.

In a statement to Insider, a spokesperson said that network has “extensively” promoted vaccines across the breadth of its output. But its most prominent personalities have not always been on board.

A week before Carlson’s segment, Laura Ingraham hosted Robert F. Kennedy Jr on her podcast. Kennedy, nephew of late president John F. Kennedy, is the most prominent anti-vaccine activists in the US. Although the podcast is not a Fox product, she is one of the network’s biggest stars.

On the show, Kennedy attacked Dr Anthony Fauci, who is playing a key part in building trust in the vaccines, describing him as “a very sinister guy who has turned this country over to Big Pharma.”

Sean Hannity, unlike some other hosts on the network, had urged viewers to wear masks during the pandemic. But in recent remarks on vaccines he suggested that the evidence was at best unclear. 

When discussing the vaccine on the January 27 edition of his show, he said “I’ve been telling my friends I’m gonna get the vaccine” but added he was “beginning to have doubts.”

“I don’t know who to listen to,” he added.

The skepticism about vaccines stirred by the hosts is starkly at odds with that of US public health experts and authorities. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the vaccines are safe and effective, and have been “evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials.”

“The vaccines met FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency,” says the CDC. The agency continues to monitor their safety. 

Fox hosts have at times echoed the consensus of scientists and experts on the vaccines. Carlson is said to have played a key role in impressing on former President Donald Trump the seriousness of the pandemic, while Ingraham congratulated Trump on the rollout of vaccines.

But critics say the frequency with which Carlson and other hosts are seeking to undermine faith in the vaccine is noticeably increasing. 

“[Fauci] is a very sinister guy who has turned this country over to Big Pharma.” — @RobertKennedyJr on The Laura Ingraham …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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