Video is resurfacing of an interview between Fox News host Laura Ingraham and Robert LaMay, a former Washington state trooper who went viral for refusing the agency’s vaccine mandate, after Mr LaMay died of Covid on Friday.
In the clip, the host appears sympathetic to Mr LaMay, who describes feeling called by God to speak out against vaccine mandates
.“A sleeping giant, we hope that’s what’s happened here, we’ve awakened it slowly but surely,” Ms Ingraham says to end the interview.
The former officer went viral and became a lauded figure in conservative media circles in October after posting a video slamming the vaccine mandate.
“This will be the last time you hear me in a state patrol car. And [Washington governor] Jay Inslee can kiss my a**,” the former trooper, a 50-year-old father of four, says in the video.
Robert LaMay’s family has confirmed he died of Covid, and opposed the vaccine on religious grounds.
“They’re old-school medicine,” cousin Jeffrey Thomas told The Daily Beast. “They lived on a farm, so they did everything farm-wise. They did everything on their own ... He didn’t deserve to go out like that.”
Commentators on social media have been calling out Ms Ingraham and other hosts for railing against vaccine mandates despite the network having an internal vaccine mandate of its own.
“Fox’s most prominent hosts are deliberately dissuading viewers from taking the vaccines, and it’s getting them killed,” argued Matthew Gertz of media watchdog group Media Matters for America, in a post on Twitter.
Numerous different top Fox hosts including Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity have made it a point to feature guests or commentary attacking vaccine mandates as unnecessary because of the prevalence of breakthrough variants under the Omicron variant, rarely mentioning that vaccines have been shower to drastically lower the chances of serious injury, hospitalisation, and death.
Ms Ingraham’s show has featured a repeating segment called “Positively Boosted”, where she gleefully recounts vaccinated individuals who have caught the coronavirus.
Though Fox News has put some of its weight behind vaccine PSAs, to measurable effect on the public, social media have argued hosts like Ms Ingraham aren’t doing enough to keep their audience safe.
“Something’s telling me Laura Ingraham is not going to mention the Covid death of Robert LaMay on her show,” Twitter user @oliver_drk wrote.
“Laura laughed and applauded when Mark Milley contracted Covid. Laura celebrated Robert Lamay for quitting rather than vaxxing. Lamay contracted covid a month ago and died yesterday from complications due to it,” added @cabchrys.The Independent has reached out to Fox News and Laura Ingraham for comment.
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