Two months ago, at the beginning of this pandemic, Meghan McCain and Tucker Carlson were two of the surprising voices of reason on the conservative side of the mediasphere.
On The View, McCain condemned those who attempted to “pray away” the coronavirus and pushed back against any attempts to “politicize” the crisis. Carlson, meanwhile, was credited with getting President Trump to take the virus seriously.
A lot has changed since then.
On Tuesday night, following a sobering Senate testimony from Dr. Anthony Fauci, Carlson lashed out at the infectious disease specialist, labeling him the “chief buffoon of the professional class.” Apparently, Meghan McCain was watching.
After Whoopi Goldberg and Sunny Hostin defended Fauci from attacks from the right, it was McCain’s turn to weigh in. “I guess this show is called The View because I have a completely different take on yesterday,” she said. “I would like to say, I respect Dr. Fauci, just as I think most Americans do.”
As California extends its stay-at-home order, McCain said she “got more than a few phone calls from friends that are just absolutely despondent, out of work, can’t work, can’t go anywhere, can’t do anything, and are looking down the barrel of being unable to pay their mortgage, being unable to feed themselves. Really scary things you don’t think of happening in this time.”
“There are different ways to die from COVID,” she continued, citing “suicide spikes” and “depression at absolutely exponential levels.” She explained that she was watching Tucker Carlson’s show the night before, in which he played a montage of Fauci being “really wrong on a lot of things,” from “you don’t have to wear masks to 2.2 million people are going to die, to we need millions of ventilators, that now we have so many ventilators that we don’t know what to do and we're giving it to foreign countries right now.”
Each of those statements were lacking context on Carlson’s show and McCain did not attempt to provide any in her own recap.
After praising Tesla CEO Elon Musk for “waving his finger at local officials in California” and opening his factory against public health recommendations, McCain said, “We’re going to have to come to some sort of middle ground, because right now there’s this feeling of hopelessness, that this is just where we’re at. That we’re going to be sheltering in place not just until we flatten the curve, but we’re going to be sheltering in place until we find a vaccine, there are no deaths in America whatsoever, but at the same time we are going to bankrupt this country and not have enough ink and printers to print money to get us out of it. So I think there has to be more than just we’re locking down the country for the foreseeable future.”
She predicted that Americans who live in states with stricter lockdowns would start moving to “states like Georgia and Florida and Texas and decide to live their lives there, and flee these major cities that aren’t letting people live in any kind of substantial way.” As McCain uttered that line, what sounded a lot like a chuckle from Goldberg could be heard in the background.
Later, before she attempted to grill their guest, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, for making her state’s restrictions too harsh, McCain expressed her own personal frustration over how the crisis has impacted her generation.
“Especially as a millennial, we have just been royally screwed over and over and over again for the past 10 years,” she said. “And it seems like every time we’re getting on our feet in one way or another, there’s just another catastrophe, and it’s very disheartening.”