CNN anchor Brianna Keilar took aim at Fox News on Monday for increasingly peddling skepticism and denialism around coronavirus vaccines, claiming the conservative network’s rhetoric was a “huge disinformation experiment conducted on humans.”
The Biden administration recently announced that it would spend $250 million to convince skeptical Americans to get their vaccine shots, noting that the three federally approved immunizations are safe and highly effective. The ad campaign comes on the heels of recent polls showing a large share of Republicans—including 25 percent of GOP lawmakers—saying they’ll refuse to get vaccinated.
In a Monday afternoon segment on conservatives’ vaccine hesitancy, Keilar first said that the White House may “want to run some of those ads on Fox’s propaganda network.” She also noted that public-health experts are now imploring former President Donald Trump—who did not take part in a pro-vaccine ad campaign by living ex-presidents—to publicly urge his supporters to get their shots.
“When it comes to the vaccine, the scientific achievement for which he demands credit, [Trump] and the former first lady got their vaccines secretly before they left office in January,” she declared. “Didn’t tell anyone. Didn’t signal to his supporters that it was OK even as the death toll climbed, skyrocketed.”
The outspoken CNN host, who has become increasingly critical of Fox News in recent months, then criticized the rival network for treating “the health and well-being of all Americans as a political issue” to debate on-air.
“The other night when Fox discovered the 1990s TV feature picture-in-a-picture and slapped Tucker Carlson’s smug mug in the tiny box, he raised his eyebrows when Biden discussed the safety of the vaccine—once again, reinforcing the skepticism of his audience,” Keilar snarked. “Though that was hardly the first time.”
She went on to highlight recent instances in which Carlson and his primetime cohorts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham have openly undermined trust in the efficacy and safety of the vaccines before knocking the network as a whole for placing Americans’ lives at risk.
“Fox viewers are guinea pigs in a huge disinformation experiment conducted on humans,” Keilar concluded. “And Americans, whether they are Fox viewers or not, will pay for it with their health or their livelihoods or their lives because no price is too high for Fox to right its rating ship.”