Chris Hayes calls Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson 'cowards' for giving in to anti-vax rhetoric

·3 min read

On MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes Thursday, the host kicked things off by tearing into right-wing media for rhetoric that discourages audiences from getting the COVID-19 vaccine. While Hayes specifically called out the hosts of Fox & Friends to begin with, the same message is prevalent with Fox News prime-time opinion hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham as well.

“We continue to see this very worrying, dangerous trend of the right-wing media, you saw some of it there, people in the most conservative parts of the country turning against the vaccine,” Hayes said, “and the leaders of this movement are cowardly. They refuse to have the courage of their convictions. They will not come out and say they are against the vaccine. Instead, they take this straw-man stance, saying they're just against anyone trying to promote the vaccine, or, heaven forbid, mandate it.”

Hayes went on to accuse some in right-wing media of not wanting people to get the vaccine, but being afraid to say it because that would mean they want people to die. While that may seem hyperbolic, Hayes has a point: CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on Thursday that preliminary data show that 99.5 percent of COVID deaths in the United States in the last six months have been unvaccinated individuals.

Hayes then turned to former President Donald Trump, who was secretly vaccinated while he was still in office, and has occasionally urged his supporters to get the vaccine. But Hayes called Trump out for not doing more.

“The exiled former president has occasionally, half-heartedly made that argument, telling the crowd at CPAC in February, quote, ‘Everybody go get your shot.’ But he's not really leaning into it,” Hayes said. “At the end of the day, he's just as scared of the anti-vaxxers in the base as the rest of his party, the rest of the conservative movement.”

Hayes had some harsh words for those in right-wing media for not being truthful about the vaccines, specifically naming Trump and Carlson, the latter who has repeatedly, for months, disparaged the vaccines and questioned their safety while ignoring the overwhelming evidence that they are saving lives.

“All of them, from Donald Trump to Tucker Carlson, are cowards when it comes down to it,” Hayes said. “They're just chasing after the base, they're chasing the base. They're not leading. They're not telling them things they don't want to hear.”

As COVID cases continue to rise in areas of the country with low vaccination rates, mostly areas largely made up of Trump supporters, Hayes had a suggestion for what Trump could do to vaccinate his base.

“They should be hosting MAGA rallies with mass vaccinations and a free hat with a shot,” Hayes said. “They could do that if they wanted to. They could. They could do it tomorrow. Instead they chose the path of least resistance. They chose to play into the paranoia and the opposition, the nihilism that is increasingly the beating heart of this political movement.”

All In With Chris Hayes airs weeknights at 8 p.m. on MSNBC.

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