Tucker Carson was widely condemned on social media and described as “dangerous” for going on an anti-mask rant during his prime time show on national TV as the coronavirus continues to ravage countries.
The Tucker Carlson Tonight host dived right into the show by calling people, who voluntarily wear masks, as “zealots and neurotics” and compared children wearing masks to “child abuse.”
He asked people to openly confront those wearing masks in public and suggested they “call police” if someone sees a child wearing mask.
“As for forcing children to wear masks outside, that should be illegal,” the Fox News host said. “Your response when you see children wearing masks as they play should be no different from your response to seeing someone beat a kid in Walmart.
“Call the police immediately. Contact Child Protective Services. Keep calling until someone arrives. What you’re looking at is abuse, it’s child abuse, and you are morally obligated to attempt to prevent it.”
He said “fighting back” against mask-wearing people is the “only option” and added that if they won’t “resist, there is no escape.”
“So the next time you see someone in a mask on the sidewalk or on the bike path, do not hesitate. Ask politely but firmly, ‘Would you please take off your mask? Science shows there is no reason for you to be wearing it. Your mask is making me uncomfortable.’”
The host did not give any evidence for his claims.
His comments were deemed “dangerous” and an “act of incitement” that could put thousands of lives at risk by way of physical violence or exposing people to the risk of coronavirus. Several people demanded he be sacked or taken off air for his comments.
A former FBI special agent, Asha Rangappa, said: “This is really, really dangerous. Listen to his tone of voice, and what he’s instructing. He’s moving from his viewers passively consuming his propaganda to having them act on it — against their neighbors. He’s testing his audience’s compliance.”
Olivia Troye, a former White House Homeland Security official, said his comments were disturbing and could lead to children or their parents getting hurt.
Mr Carlson’s comments came as the US remained the worst-hit country in the world.
Mr Carlson was a proponent of mask-wearing to contain the spread of coronavirus during Donald Trump’s administration. But as recently as March he changed his stance and became a critic of face masks and other Covid-19 restrictions.
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