Biden suggests some Fox News hosts have had ‘altar call’ after backing vaccinations

‘That’s good,’ the president said of the moves to try to convince viewers to get vaccinated

Clara Hill
Thursday 22 July 2021 16:32
Biden says Fox News presenters suddenly backing vaccinations have had an 'altar call'
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President Joe Biden has implied some Fox News hosts have had what he described as an “altar call” after they urged viewers to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

During a CNN Presidential Town Hall moderated by Don Lemon, a host from the network, Mr Biden clarified he was not being a “wise guy” and welcomed the change of heart. Despite dropping no names, it was widely believed the president was referring to Fox News, as this week, both Sean Hannity and Steve Doocy have urged viewers get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

“I’m not being a wise guy now, I know you know, one of those other networks that aren’t a big fan of mine,” he said to turning to Mr Lemon. “One you talk about a lot.”

Mr Biden continued, “but if you notice, as they say in the southern part of my state, they’ve had an altar call, some of those guys. All of the sudden, they’re out there saying, ‘let’s get vaccinated, get vaccinated.”

“That’s good,” he said of the moves to try to convince their viewers to get vaccinated.

On 19 July, Mr Hannity told viewers, “I believe in science, I believe in the science of vaccinations.”

Earlier that day, Mr Doocy said on Fox & Friends, “If you have the chance, get the shot, it will save your life.”

Preliminary data from the CDC from earlier in the month stated that 99.5 per cent of deaths were among unvaccinated people. Dr Fauci testified to the Senate Health, Education, Labour and Pensions Committee that after receiving two jabs of any authorised coronavirus vaccine or a single shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, vaccinated Americans are about 90 per cent protected from hospitalisation and death from Covid.

He also said that the Delta variant now accounts for more than 80 per cent of new Covid cases across the US..

A spokesperson for Fox News referred The Independent to numerous instances of their positive coverage of Covid vaccines on the network since the beginning of the year.

The Biden administration have also critiqued social media companies and urged them to do more to counter vaccine misinformation. During the CNN town hall, Mr Biden addressed these comments.

“You may have heard that I was critical of some of the things that are on Facebook and that I was attacking Facebook. I wasn’t attacking Facebook,” he said.

This elaboration came after citing a report this week that said 65 per cent of vaccine misinformation stemmed from 12 people’s Facebook accounts, nicknamed the “Disinformation Dozen”. Among these include Robert F Kennedy Jr, the son of Robert F Kennedy and nephew of President John F Kennedy.

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