America’s foremost promoter of the coronavirus pandemic, Donald Trump, has an unmatched record of dispensing disinformation about COVID-19. It began in the earliest days of the pandemic when he deliberately downplayed of the severity of the virus, despite knowing full well how potentially deadly it was. And it continued through his promotion of quack cures like hydroxychloroquine and bleach injections.
Throughout the past year and a half Trump has also held numerous cult rallies with his maskless, vaccine-averse followers. And when he got vaccinated himself, he did it secretly. As a result of this anti-vaccine attitude by Trump and conservative media like Fox News, a new NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll shows that only 62% of Republicans say that they have already been vaccinated or will get vaccinated. That compares to 95% of Democrats.
Recently there has been talk of a booster shot to enhance and elongate the efficacy of the vaccines. And on Friday the Wall Street Journal asked Trump whether he intended to get a booster shot when it is available. Trump replied…
“I feel like I’m in good shape from that standpoint, I probably won’t. I’ll look at stuff later on. I’m not against it, but it’s probably not for me.”
First of all, given Trump’s penchant for lying about everything, there’s a pretty good chance he’s already had his booster shot, or will get one and not tell anybody. Meanwhile, Trump is continuing to downplay the common sense methods of mitigating the harm of the coronavirus. When he was asked last month about booster shots he told Fox News that it “sounds to me like a money-making operation from Pfizer. […] You wouldn’t think you would need a booster.” Elaborating, he added…
“Think of the money involved. Tens of billions…how good a business is that? If you’re a pure businessman you’ll say, ‘You know what? Let’s give them another shot. That’s another ten billion dollars of money coming in. The whole thing is just crazy.”
To Trump everything is about the grift. That’s how he ran his business (and his political operations), so he assumes that it’s how everyone business is run. Even though he has tried to take credit for the vaccines, he learned recently at a rally that he can’t talk about them in a positive light. When he told the crowd that vaccines were safe and recommended them, he got booed. He then quickly backpedaled adding “I believe totally in your freedoms, I do, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”
Just as he has spent most of the last year and a half downplaying the tragic and deadly risks that people are facing, Trump still seems determined to kill off more Americans by convincing them that there isn’t any real threat and they don’t need need to take simple steps to insure the safety of themselves, their families, their communities, and their nation. It’s a selfish and dangerous message that will undoubtedly cause more suffering and grief. But Trump never cared about that before, and apparently, he still doesn’t care about it 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.