Dr Anthony Fauci calls Carlson’s anti-vaccine comments a ‘typical crazy conspiracy theory’

Chelsea Clinton leads calls for Facebook to ban Tucker Carlson as his anti-vaxx video becomes world’s most-read post

Former first daughters speaks out after Fox News host casts doubt that vaccines work against Covid-19

Nathan Place
New York
Wednesday 14 April 2021 21:53
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Chelsea Clinton has called for Facebook to ban Tucker Carlson after the Fox News host cast doubt on the efficacy of Covid vaccines.

Ms Clinton on Wednesday retweeted a post showing that Carlson’s anti-vaccine monologue had become the most popular post on Facebook, according to data from the tool CrowdTangle.

“In December, @facebook banned claims about #covid19 vaccines ‘that have been debunked by public health experts. And yet…” Ms Clinton wrote

“Especially troubling given Republican men are currently most likely to say they’re not interested in being vaccinated,” she added.

On his Tuesday night show, Carlson speculated that if vaccinated people are still required to wear masks and practise social distancing, the vaccine must not work.

“If vaccines work, why are vaccinated people still banned from living normal lives?” the host complained. “So maybe it doesn’t work, and they’re simply not telling you that. Well, you hate to think that, especially if you’ve gotten two shots, but what’s the other potential explanation? We can’t think of one.”

Carlson has already faced intense criticism for his remarks, which public health experts say undermine confidence in the vaccines.

“That’s just a typical crazy conspiracy theory,” Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, told CNN. “It’s certainly not helpful to the public health of this nation or even globally.”

The three vaccines that have been approved for use in the United States are in fact overwhelmingly effective. In clinical trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech shot was found to be 95 per cent effective at preventing Covid-19, while that number was 94.1 per cent for Moderna and 72 per cent for Johnson & Johnson (but 86 per cent for preventing severe disease), according to Yale Medicine.

“Look at the data,” Dr Fauci said in response to Carlson’s comments. “The data are overwhelming in the three vaccines that have been approved for use in an emergency use authorisation: The J&J, the Pfizer, and the Moderna – you had 30,000, 44,000, and 40,000 people in the clinical trial with an overwhelming signal of efficacy. So I don’t have any idea what he’s talking about.”

Nevertheless, Carlson’s diatribe has proven extremely popular online. At the moment Ms Clinton posted her tweet, a Facebook post featuring his comments had clocked almost 600,000 views.

The Clinton Foundation, at which Chelsea Clinton is a vice chair, has worked actively to dispel misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines. Earlier this month, the Foundation released a booklet to help community and religious leaders educate their constituents about the shots. Vice Chair Clinton wrote the introduction.

“Some Americans still have questions and doubts about the COVID-19 vaccines, and are in search of guidance,” she wrote. “The Clinton Foundation has put together this toolkit to help facilitate conversations with members of your community, give people the facts around COVID-19 vaccines, and dispel any myths that might be discouraging them from getting their shot.”

Tucker Carlson Tonight has not yet responded to The Independent’s request for comment.

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