A Fox News segment flew off the rails on Tuesday when liberal pundit Christopher Hahn went off on Tucker Carlson and conservatives for railing against “vaccine passports,” blasting the Fox News star as a “conspiracy theorist” and directly calling fellow on-air guest Mercedes Schlapp a “grifter.”
With the Biden administration and private companies working to develop a way of verifying credentials that would prove that Americans have received a coronavirus vaccine as businesses continue to reopen, Carlson called the idea “Orwellian” during a Tuesday morning appearance on Fox & Friends.
“If you’re trying to calm people down about the idea of vaccines, and make them less vaccine-hesitant, and convince them it is not a conspiracy run by Bill Gates, then you won’t consider doing something like this,” the Fox News host added.
Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, meanwhile, has pledged that he will take executive action to combat so-called vaccine passports, saying on Monday that it’s “completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine, just simply to participate in normal society.”
During a Fox News panel debate on the issue, anchor Gillian Turner kicked off the segment by noting that Republicans claim “it’s hypocritical coming from the Biden administration” because Democrats are “broadly against the idea of I.D. requirements for voter registration,” prompting Schlapp—a former Trump White House senior adviser—to excitedly agree.
“You hit a really important point here: the illogical mentality of the left,” Schlapp declared before complaining that the White House was working with “Big Tech” to develop the technology surrounding the credentials.
“I think all of it is troubling,” she added. “And we really need to step away from this issue and because there are constitutional issues, privacy questions associated with these vaccine passports.”
Hahn, a frequent Fox News guest and one-time contributor, quickly turned the temperature up while accusing conservatives of pushing anti-vaccine conspiracies.
“The private sector is driving it, not the government. But Republicans like everything else they’ve done during this horrible crisis we’ve been through, are pushing these conspiracy theories that the government is trying to control you, which is causing some of their followers not to get vaccinated,” he exclaimed. “People like Tucker Carlson, like Jim Jordan, like Mercedes right here now casting doubt on the fact that the government—or trying to convince people that the government is somehow watching you. That is very irresponsible!”
As Hahn said “it is time for conservatives in this country to acknowledge we have a crisis and start joining the fight to end it and stop spreading lies,” Schlapp yelled back that she is “not going to take this” from Hahn while defending her and Carlson’s honor.
“You are not going to call me a liar! You are not going to call me a conspiracy theorist! You are not going to call Tucker Carlson a conspiracy theorist,” she screamed.
“He is! He is and you are!” Hahn fired back.
“I’m not going to put up with this! I stand for freedom! I stand for the freedom of the American people every single day,” Schlapp shouted in response.
“No, you don’t. You’re a grifter! This is ridiculous,” the “Aggressive Progressive” podcast host retorted.
Eventually, Turner intervened, calling on the pair to “keep it civil” and to not resort to “name-calling,” prompting a distraught Schlapp to again say she was not going to stand for her liberal counterpart to call her and Carlson liars.
“They are damaging the effort to get this under control,” Hahn eventually said before Turner finally got things under control.