The View’s Meghan McCain on Tuesday cast blame on Kamala Harris for how a large share of Republicans express hesitancy about getting a coronavirus vaccine, citing remarks made by the vice president made last fall to claim “both sides are equally responsible for this.”
Concern has grown in recent weeks as polls show that Republicans, and specifically supporters of former President Donald Trump, are increasingly resistant to receiving a vaccination. In a recent NPR/Marist survey, for instance, 49 percent of Republican men said they won’t choose to get a shot if it’s made available to them.
Public-health experts, meanwhile, have tried to appeal to the ex-president to publicly express support for the vaccines in the hopes that could reverse these trends among Republicans. (Trump did not participate in a pro-vaccine ad campaign featuring other living ex-presidents.) At the same time, however, Fox News and other right-wing media outlets have progressively peddled vaccine skepticism as the Biden administration ramps up vaccinations.
Addressing this growing issue on Tuesday’s broadcast of The View, McCain first warned viewers that she “may trigger” them with her belief that even more Republicans are skeptical of vaccines than what the polls are showing. The conservative host, though, wanted the audience to know that she herself was “happy to get the vaccine” live on the air as a form of advocacy.
“I do trust science,” she said. “I trust doctors, and quite frankly I would let them put an iPod Nano between my shoulder blades if it means I can get drunk at Caesar’s Palace again.”
From there, McCain then pivoted to remarks made by Harris during the 2020 campaign in which the then-candidate said she “would not trust Donald Trump, and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he's talking about” when it came to a vaccine distribute and approved prior to the election.
“I trust the doctors, however, I want to show a clip to explain why it’s happening with Republicans,” McCain said before airing the clip of Harris.
“So she’s expressing skepticism about the vaccine under the Trump administration,” The View co-host reacted to the clip. “A lot of Republicans I know are expressing skepticism about the vaccine under the Biden administration, which is why this has been so dangerous that this has become so politicized.”
She continued: “Both sides are equally responsible for this, but the media really lauded her at the time when she said that, and she didn’t get nearly as much pushback.”
McCain went on to claim that “Republicans are contrarian by nature” and are built to “question authority and to question big government” before also blaming President Joe Biden for Republican hesitancy.
“There have been many opportunities to right this wrong, including President Biden going on TV and giving credit to President Trump for the help with the rollout of this vaccine, which he didn’t do,” she groused.
What appears to be missing from McCain’s seemingly strawman argument is that Harris specifically stated at the time that while she would not take Trump “at his word” on the efficacy and safety of any vaccine approved prior to the election, she would trust what scientists and health officials said about it.
And despite conservatives and right-wing pundits accusing Biden and Harris of trafficking in “anti-vaccine” rhetoric at the time, both the vice-president and president publicly received immunizations shortly after they were approved by the FDA. Trump, meanwhile, received his vaccine in secret, something that was only reported weeks later.