The year long determination of Fox News to convince their viewers that COVID-19 isn’t anything to worry about has resulted in the coronavirus officially becoming the Pandemic of Fox News. They are, of course, parroting the purposeful lies of Donald Trump who repeatedly told his cult followers that it was either a hoax, a Democratic plot against him, or a piffling malady that is no more serious than the common flu. And he’s still doing it.
Never mind that Trump has known from the start how deadly it is. His deliberate dishonesty fueled the aversion of his disciples to the vaccines that he simultaneously tried to take credit for. And Fox News backed him up all the way.
As a result, the cable news network that one watches is one of the best indicators of whether or not the viewer has been vaccinated. The percentage of Fox News viewers who have received the vaccine is 21 points lower than viewers of CNN or MSNBC. Fox’s top program hosts are staunch opponents of vaccinations that they regard as attempts by the government to control the population (by keeping them alive?).
Tucker Carlson tops the list with his frequent anti-vaccine messaging, such as his paranoia drenched claim that vaccines don’t work and “they” aren’t telling you. Likewise, Sean Hannity has sowed vaccine doubts by pretending to support the science, even while insisting that no one should listen to him. Which is actually pretty good advice.
However, if Fox News was interested in the welfare of the American people, they could have a profound impact on mitigating the suffering and fatalities of the pandemic. That impact was demonstrated recently when Tractor Supply posted a sign next to a horse dewormer they sell. The sign reads…
“A number of products we carry, including select dewormers and injectables, contain the anti-parasite active ingredient Ivermectin. Despite media report that Ivermectin could potentially be used to treat people with COVID-19, these products are not safe or approved for human use, and could cause severe personal injury or death.”
Farm stores are selling out of the horse worm drug, Ivermectin, after Fox News promoted it as a miracle COVID cure… many people have already died after taking it due to liver toxicity
(the FDA says do NOT under any circumstances take unapproved drugs outside of clinical trials) pic.twitter.com/RJ9DsJs6vF
— William LeGate (@williamlegate) August 1, 2021
Both Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham have promoted the use of Ivermectin based on studies that have been discredit and retracted. Carlson “repeatedly downplayed the effectiveness of COVID vaccines while touting Ivermectin on shows in June and July.” And Ingraham hosted a dubious “expert” whose advocacy of the dewormer only served to further mislead Fox’s viewers and put their health and lives at risk.
So Trump’s MAGA devotees refuse to take recommended vaccines based on the fear mongering and admitted ignorance of Fox News pundits. They say that they’re afraid of what the vaccines might contain (microchips? Fetuses?) and what potential harm they might cause. None of which has been validated. But they will rush out to their local farm supply store to buy and consume a horse dewormer that is known to be toxic to humans?
If nothing else, this proves that Fox News has a frighteningly powerful impact on their viewers and influences what they believe and do. How many other alleged “news” purveyors could get their audience to reject medicine and swallow poison instead? Now imagine if Fox News would tell them to get vaccinated. Imagine if they reported the extraordinarily high efficacy and safety of the vaccines and how reliably they reduced the incidence of severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
The result of Fox News – and Trump for that matter – enthusiastically promoting the benefits of being vaccinated could save tens of thousands of lives. It could prevent further viral variants from developing that have to potential to defeat the protection that the current vaccines provide. And that would save even more lives among the millions who have already been vaccinated.
But in order for that to happen, Fox News would have to care about the welfare of the American people. They have to put people’s health above their own political and financial interests. In other words, don’t hold your breath. Fox News – and Trump – cannot be relied upon to do the responsible and ethical thing when they can exploit people’s suffering to advance their agenda of partisanship and greed. That’s been their mission from their inception, and it isn’t going to change now.
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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.