During an interview with CNN’s Jim Acosta, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Tony Fauci, attempted to mock Fox News with regard to what some of the network’s hosts say about the COVID-19 vaccine. However, as PJ Media writer Tyler O’Neil pointed out, Fauci’s attack backfired.
“The most watched television show on Fox News right now is outright hostile to the vaccine in this environment,” Acosta said during his interview with Fauci.
Acosta then asked: “Do you think we could have eradicated polio or defeated the measles if you had Fox News night after night warning people about these vaccine issues that are just bunk?”
Fauci went on to claim he was “certain that we’d still have polio in this country” had there been “the pushback for vaccines the way we’re seeing on certain media,” a subtle, but clear shot at Fox News, as the network has a number of primetime hosts who have challenged certain information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
Early vaccines initially opposed
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) went on to suggest that smallpox would have not been eradicated “if we had the kind of false information that’s being spread now.”
However, the PJ Media writer noted that, in fact, there was initial widespread opposition to both polio and smallpox vaccines, with some of that opposition emerging from within the scientific community. That fact alone sparked intense criticism of the NIAID director, who, of all people, should be well-aware of this country’s history with opposing high-profile vaccinations.
What’s more, concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine have not only been voiced by those on the political right, as some Democrats went on record early on when vaccines were being touted, voicing concerns in the run-up to last year’s presidential election about Trump’s efforts to get a vaccine to the public in a hurry.
In a since-deleted tweet from September 2020, liberal author Don Winslow wrote, “Who wants to be among the first to shoot Trump’s rushed vaccine into their child?”
Democrats doubted it
In September, the Washington Examiner reported that then-vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris urged caution over the COVID-19 vaccine, presumably because former President Donald Trump was essentially in charge of it.
“I will not take his word for it,” Harris said at the time, referring to assurances from President Trump at the time that the vaccines would be safe and effective.
“He’s looking at an election coming up in less than 60 days, and he’s grasping to get whatever he can to pretend he has been a leader on this issue when he is not,” Harris declared.
The PJ Media writer also disputed the view that vaccine hesitancy is primarily rooted in ignorance. He cited an MIT study that revealed that vaccine skeptics are often “highly informed” and “scientifically literate.”