The past few weeks has seen a disturbing resurgence of the coronavirus. After appearing to have come under control due to the Biden administration’s success in making the vaccines widely available, the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, are once again on the rise. And the cause of that is plainly attributable to the holdouts who are either reluctant or opposed to getting vaccinated.
The data is clear that the increased viral activity is a preventable phenomenon that the CDC Director, Rochelle Walensky, has tagged as “the pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Drilling deeper into the data reveals that the new COVID-19 hot zones are predominantly located in red states or Republican dominated areas.
However, even that doesn’t tell the whole story. The vaccine-averse are digging in even as the Delta variant, the most contagious yet, has become dominant. According to research conducted by an Axios/Ipsos tracking poll, Fox News viewers are significantly trailing viewers of other media in getting vaccinated:
“According to the combined sample, 62% of adults who use Fox News as their main news source have received at least one dose of the vaccine. That’s not nothing, but it’s still relatively low.” […]
“The people who get their news from CNN or MSNBC, for example, had a vaccination rate of 83% in the same polling. Likewise, 79% of adults who rely on network news have had at least one dose of a vaccine. About three-quarters (74%) who get their news from public television or radio were at least partially vaccinated.”
So the percentage of Fox News viewers that have been vaccinated is 21 points lower than viewers of CNN or MSNBC, and 17 points lower than those who get their news from the broadcast networks. While that is a troubling set of statistics, it isn’t especially surprising. After all, Fox News has been telling their audience for months that COVID is either a hoax or a flu. Even worse, Fox has warned that the vaccines have dangerous, even deadly side effects, or that they contain microchips or are otherwise key to a clandestine plot to control the population.
Fox fear monger Tusker Carlson recently warned his viewers that vaccines don’t work and “they” aren’t telling you. Just this week Fox’s Sean Hannity appeared to briefly concede that the vaccine was beneficial and should be taken. But the following day he reversed himself and told his audience not take his advice anyway because he’s not a doctor. As for Donald Trump, he gave his disciples at his latest cult rally a decidedly mixed message:
“How about the vaccine? I came up with the vaccine. They said it would take three to five years. Gonna save the world. I recommend you take it, but I also believe in your freedoms 100%.”
Trump on getting vaccinated for COVID: "I recommend you take it, but I also believe in your freedoms." pic.twitter.com/WVKCiM5aOL
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) July 25, 2021
First of all, Trump asserting that “I came up with the vaccine.” may be one of the most thoroughly demented things he’s said since his proposal to inject Clorox as a virus treatment. More to the point, though, Trump isn’t going to persuade his flock to get the shot if he immediately qualifies his rather weak recommendation with a suggestion that their “freedoms” rest on not getting it.
The result of this leads to the conclusion that a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” is not the best description of our current state of affairs. This is more accurately described as a “pandemic of the Fox News infected.” Whether or not someone watches Fox News may be the best indicator of their vaccination status, or their likelihood of getting vaccinated in the future. Consequently, for the safety of everyone else, it might be best to avoid any contact with Fox News viewers. They are the ones most likely to be infected and transmitting the virus. Stay safe America.
UPDATE: It’s getting much worse. The red/blue vaccination divide was about two points in April. Now it’s six times greater:
"The Kaiser Family Foundation this month found that counties won by Biden last year had vaccination rates nearly 12-point higher than counties won by Donald Trump." (h/t @ddiamond) https://t.co/A6jkALitji
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) July 26, 2021
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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.