When he g-ddamned well pleases. How’s that for an answer, smart guy?
That’s one possible response, and an acceptable one for an average joe. If someone walks up to you and demands to know your vaccination status, tell ’em to get stuffed. It’s a health matter. It’s none of their business. Why, asking someone if they’ve been vaxxed would be almost as rude as going up to someone and telling them that their mask makes you uncomfortable, or that their decision to mask their child makes you want to call CPS.
Of course, if the person asking doesn’t want to let you into their establishment because you refuse to assure them that you’re immune, that’s none of your business either.
Anyway, Tucker’s not an average joe. He’s the premier just-asking-questions vax skeptic on American television, who warned an audience of millions last week that there’s no way of knowing whether the vaccines have killed thousands already or not. He’s given a platform to COVID truther and fellow vax skeptic Alex Berenson too. It’d be strange under those circumstances if he’s been vaccinated already instead of waiting for more data on mystery deaths, unknown side effects, and so on. His commentary on Fox amounts to a running argument that viewers should, at a minimum, wait a bit before taking the plunge until they have a better sense of what unintended consequences the vaccines might bring.
And if they should wait, shouldn’t he? If he didn’t wait, does that mean he doesn’t believe what he’s telling his audience? Dr. Jonathan Reiner wants to know.
>> @JReinerMD: “I have two questions for Tucker Carlson. Number one, have you been vaccinated? And number two, why won’t you tell your audience whether you’ve been vaccinated? I’m tired of his nonsense.” pic.twitter.com/uHSubupV8m
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 10, 2021
Imagine if, having written scores of pro-vaccine posts, I suddenly turned around and told you, “Oh, by the way, I haven’t been vaccinated yet and won’t be anytime soon. Never can tell what that an experimental drug might do to you, you know.” (I have been vaccinated, by the way. Two shots of Pfizer last month.) It would make you doubt the sincerity of everything I’d written on the subject, understandably. And it’d lead you to wonder why I was goading you to take a risk I was unwilling to take myself. What important information had I held back from you in my writing that led me to follow a different course personally than the one I’d been recommending ad nauseam publicly?
Reiner has a sneaking suspicion that Tucker was vaccinated weeks ago and has been pushing skepticism on his viewers just because that’s what being a successful broadcaster in populist media requires, not because he sincerely believes the vaccines are dangerous. (Certainly not more dangerous than COVID.) Many critics on social media think so too, with the hashtag #TuckerVaxxed trending earlier today on Twitter. E.g.:
Just so we’re clear, @TuckerCarlson will lie and terrify people to undermine the progress that @POTUS and his Administration are making. The one thing he won’t do is risk his own health. And that’s why you can be certain, #TuckerVaxxed.
— ken olin? (@kenolin1) May 10, 2021
I’m curious to see how Carlson responds. Maybe he’ll just ignore it, as he’s under no obligation to answer anyone about this. Or maybe he’ll surprise everyone and say that, contrary to suspicions, he hasn’t been vaxxed yet. He’s putting his money where his mouth is, risking infection by COVID because his doubts about the vaccine are heartfelt. That would be powerful testimony that he’s leveling with his viewers and not asking them to do something he himself wouldn’t do.
But if he does respond, and I had to bet on what he’d say, I’d bet on something like this: “As a matter of fact, I have been vaccinated — and that doesn’t make me a hypocrite. I’ve never told anyone not to get vaccinated; in fact, I’ve said repeatedly on my show that the vaccines work. But as someone who trusted the expert consensus and got my shots, I have a strong personal investment in finding out whether they’re more dangerous or less effective, or both, than scientists seem to believe. Why can’t I ask uncomfortable questions to that end?” He should have Reiner on and ask away. I’d watch the hell out of that interview.
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