It started when Surgeon General Vivek Murthy came forward to state false anti-vaxx rhetoric which has been spreading on Social Media and Fox News is a danger to public health.  On the one hand this has produced deniers like Meghan McCain who claim that Fox “hasn’t been anti-vaxx.”

When of course, it clearly has been.

Recently an E.R. doctor made this quite clear.

In many parts of the country, summer looks relatively normal and safe, thanks to wide acceptance of the Covid-19 vaccine. But that’s not the case for areas that have low vaccination coverage. In those areas, cases are rising again. And as an emergency physician still battling Covid-19 in Michigan, I’m often frustrated by the way the news sources my community watches add fuel to these surges.

The high cost of right-wing Covid-19 denialism hit my community hard during the first surge of this crisis. Now, we’re seeing a new, dangerous anti-vaccine push from these media sources, even as the delta variant threatens communities with low vaccination rates.

The high cost of right-wing Covid-19 denialism hit my community hard during the first surge of this crisis. Now, we’re seeing a new, dangerous anti-vaccine push from these media sources, even as the delta variant threatens communities with low vaccination rates.

The fact is that Fox News is a problem.

“It should come as no surprise many COVID cases are people who watch Fox News hosts … who downplayed the pandemic,” Reid said. “According to Media Matters, between June 28th and July 11th, Fox personalities and guests made a total of 216 claims undermining or downplaying vaccines, Reid went on to show a highlight reel of vaccines being discussed on Fox News, which she described as a “steady and unrelenting stream of lies.”

Even in the example of Steve Doocy recent pro-vaxx statements from Fox and Friends you had co-host, Brian Kilmeade, countering that argument in real-time.

Kilmeade revealed to Fox News viewers that he has yet to understand that anyone who is not vaccinated poises a potential threat to not only those who have yet to get vaccinated, but to those who have – as breakthrough cases are being seen given that the vaccine is close to but not 100% effective. They also create a greater likelihood of new and potentially even more deadly coronavirus variants will develop.”99% of the people who are dying from COVID are unvaccinated,” co-host Steve Doocy interjected, as Kilmeade appeared to roll his eyes.
 
“That’s their choice,” Kilmeade, a 57-year old father of three insisted.
“They don’t want to die,” retorted Doocy, in a rare smack-down of his colleague. “So they are, the administration and the government are saying, we need the mask mandate to protect the unvaccinated.”
 
Kilmeade, who has written five books on the Founders and American history, almost prayerfully clasped his hands together and declared falsely, “That’s not their job, it’s not their job to protect anybody!”

if it’s not the government’s job to protect anybody we wouldn’t have seatbelts, airbags or speed limits.  The NTSB wouldn’t have a job. Neither would traffic cops.  Most of the government exists to protect people from some of their own bad decisions and choices, particularly when it involves public health.

Doozy also begged for people to get vaccinated.

“The disinformation is online. The vaccine is killing lots and lots of people. Or it changes your DNA. Or their little microchips. None of that is true,” he said. “If you have the chance, get the shot, it will save your life.”
 
Doocy’s plea was met with outrage from many of Fox News’ regular viewers, with right-wing Twitter accounts viciously going after the “Fox & Friends” host.
But Fox News viewers really weren’t into it.

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This week there was a pro-vax stance from Sean Hannity right after Carlson downplayed them.

“Just like we’ve been saying, please take COVID seriously. I can’t say it enough, enough people have died, we don’t need any more deaths,” Hannity said. “Take it seriously.”

He said, “it absolutely makes sense for many Americans to get vaccinated. I believe in science, I believe in the science of vaccinations.”

That was a marked departure from the previous hour, when Fox personality Tucker Carlson continued to lie about vaccines.

Suddenly we’ve had Mitch McConnel and Steve Scalise endorse the vaccine, but on the same day as Doozy’s plea, Kilmead went even further to spread vaccine misinformation.

“What is this to also say the vaccine is not nearly as effective against this delta variant, as they say if you look at what’s happening in Britain, they say 70% of the new cases are fully vaccinated people with the Pfizer vaccine, nobody talks about that,” host Brian Kilmeade said angrily on “Fox & Friends.”
 
Kilmeade is spreading false information.
 
The British Government on Monday announced that 60% of coronavirus patients requiring hospitalization were not vaccinated. NCRM could find nothing to support Kilmeade’s claim that “70% of the new cases are fully vaccinated people with the Pfizer vaccine,” which may be why “nobody talks about that.”
 
“As a higher proportion of the population is double vaccinated, it’s inevitable that those 10% of that very large number remain at risk and will therefore be amongst the people who both catch the infection and end up in hospital.”
In the UK 68% of all adults are fully vaccinated, and 88% have had one shot.

Qanon poster girl Marjorie Taylor Greene got herself temporarily banned on Twitter for spreading similar misinformation.

“Ms. Greene, a Republican of Georgia, has been an outspoken opponent of vaccines and masks as tools to curb the pandemic,” the Times notes. “In tweets on Sunday and Monday, she argued that Covid-19 was not dangerous for people under the age of 65 who are not obese, and said vaccines should not be required… Twitter said Ms. Greene’s tweets were misinformation, and it barred her from the service until Tuesday.”

Former Fox Host Carl Cameron has come out hard-swinging against Carlson on Covid.

The Anti-Vaxx death toll is rising.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation here are five primary myths about the Covid vaccine.

With social media rife with misinformation, large shares of unvaccinated Americans have latched on to misbeliefs about the vaccines.
 
One big myth with legs is that the vaccines themselves cause COVID. 36% of unvaccinated adults either believe this or are not sure, and 41% of unvaccinated Blacks do.
 
Another myth is that the vaccines cause infertility. 29% of unvaccinated adults believe that or don’t know, as do 31% of Republicans. 34% of Republicans also say the vaccines contain fetal cells or are not sure if they do.
 
About the same shares of unvaccinated adults believe the vaccines change your DNA and that you should not get vaccinated if you have had COVID.
 
All told 67% of unvaccinated adults cling to one of the major myths about vaccines we asked about in our KFF Vaccine Monitor.

The vaccine won’t make you magnetic, it won’t change your DNA, it won’t make you infertile, and it’s not an excuse to pump a microchip into your body.

Now as a good Democrat, I should look at the fact that vaccine misinformation seems to be the waters that the right-wing want to swim in and just walk away. If they want to kill and sicken themselves, why should I care?  If say an extra 100,000 of them die in key swing states like Georgia, Arizona, and Michigan, so much the better.  I really shouldn’t care that Trump supporters like this one are ending up dead because of their anti-vaxx mania.

On Tuesday, the Cape Cod Times reported that Linda Zuern, a former member of the Bourne, Massachusetts Board of Selectmen and a Trump-supporting figure in the local Republican Party, had died of COVID-19.
 
Zuern died at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston of severe complications caused by COVID-19, according to the report. She was 70 years old and had not been vaccinated.
 
“She was a strong woman who believed in speaking the truth and defending our freedoms in America,” Republican State Committeewoman Deborah Dugan told the Cape Cod Times. Dugan was at Zuern’s bedside when she died. “I would describe her to people as a little woman but a mighty warrior.”
 
For months, Zuern, a member of the pro-Trump group the United Cape Patriots, had promoted conspiracy theories about the pandemic on Facebook. She has shared articles accusing the World Health Organization of a coverup of the “Wuhan Virus” and claiming COVID-19 is cover for “globalists” to usher in “U.N. Agenda 2030” — a sustainable development initiative right-wing conspiracy theorists assert is a plot to create a one world government.

One less Trumper.  I shouldn’t care. An anti-vaxxer dies from not having the vaccine?  That’s like winning the Gold Medal in Darwin’s Olympics.  It’s karma, it’s justice.

The problem is that this isn’t just a personal choice like a seat belt.  It’s not just a matter of one persons “choice” and personal freedom.  This virus spreads.  More importantly, as it spreads it mutant and changes, it before more infectious and more dangerous.

The Delta Variant doesn’t just infect you more quickly, it grows more rapidly in your body.

After months of data collection, scientists agree: The delta variant is the most contagious version of the coronavirus worldwide. It spreads about two to three times faster than the original version of the virus, and it’s currently dominating the outbreak in the United States.

A new study, published online Wednesday, sheds light on why. It finds that the variant grows more rapidly inside people’s respiratory tracts and to much higher levels, researchers at the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

On average, people infected with the delta variant had about 1,000 times more copies of the virus in their respiratory tracts than those infected with the original strain of the coronavirus, the study reported.

In addition, after someone catches the delta variant, the person likely becomes infectious sooner. On average, it took about four days for the delta variant to reach detectable levels inside a person, compared with six days for the original coronavirus variant.

People that are not taking the vaccine are essentially acting as incubators for the next variant.  And the next.

What we don’t want, what we can’t afford is a breakout variant that is no longer affected by the vaccine, then we’ll all be in trouble and we’ll have more unfortunate incidents like this.

A Georgia sheriff’s deputy lost his 5-year-old son to the coronavirus, and the boy’s family issued a heartbreaking statement.
 
Wyatt Gibson became ill last week with what his family first thought was salmonella food poisoning, but they became alarmed after his tongue turned white a short time later and took him to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with strep throat, a staph infection and COVID-19, reported WGXA-TV.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up on behalf of the family “to help with medical bills, funeral costs, and to just get through the worst nightmare of any parent.”
 
“We’d been so careful this whole time for it to find us now?” his family said in a statement. “He was fighting for his very life.”
 
His mother and father, Whitfield County sheriff’s Lt. Wes Gibson, also became ill from COVID-19, and their son died Friday from a stroke, leaving behind his parents and a 9-month-old sister.’
“A massive stroke struck the soul of his brain,” the family said in a statement. “As his mother gathered him softly to her chest. Two hearts beating slowly… then one. He suddenly became so heavy as the soul who lit this body departed.”
The boy didn’t have any underlying health conditions before falling ill to the virus.

Majorie Taylor Greene is wrong. You can be far, far younger than 65 without any underlying health conditions and still be devastatingly affected by this virus.

It’s the duty of all of us, to do our part in shutting down the spread of this virus. Literally, the world depends on it.

Most of these posts were generated in my new Activist Facebook Group Army for Truth where we are gathering and sharing the true facts about Covid, the Insurrection, Election 2020 and Critical Race Theory.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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