Tucker Carlson is attacking COVID-19 vaccines again, making baseless claims about their safety

·3 min read
Tucker Carlson talking about the COVID-19 vaccine on "Tucker Carlson Tonight"
Tucker Carlson talking about COVID-19 vaccines on "Tucker Carlson Tonight." Fox News
  • The Fox News host Tucker Carlson upped his anti-vaccine rhetoric on Wednesday night.

  • Without any supporting evidence, Carlson linked thousands of deaths to COVID-19 vaccines.

  • "The actual number is almost certainly much higher than that - perhaps vastly higher," he said.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Fox News host Tucker Carlson attacked the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in a segment of his show Wednesday night, baselessly linking thousands of deaths to the shot.

"Between late December of 2020, and last month, a total of 3,362 people apparently died after getting the COVID vaccines in the United States. Three thousand, three hundred, and sixty-two - that's an average of 30 people every day," Carlson said on "Tucker Carlson Tonight." "The actual number is almost certainly much higher than that - perhaps vastly higher."

Experts cautioned even before the COVID-19 vaccine rollout that people would die after taking vaccines for coincidental reasons, especially as the early part of the US vaccine rollout focused on older people and those with preexisting conditions.

There's no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines have caused anywhere near the number of deaths cited by Carlson.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Monday it was aware of roughly 4,000 reported deaths of people who had received COVID-19 vaccines but that a "review of available clinical information, including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records has not established a causal link to COVID-19 vaccines."

The CDC went on to acknowledge that Johnson & Johnson's vaccine had been linked to a rare, potentially fatal blood-clot condition, but only a handful of such cases have been identified among the millions of people who have received the single-dose shot.

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Despite recently escalating controversies on top of several rounds of advertising boycotts over the past few years - with the primetime star losing as many as 70 advertisers in under a year - Carlson has maintained the network's support thus far.

Fox News recently added two new streaming shows to Carlson's portfolio, "Tucker Carlson Today" and "Tucker Carlson Originals," which are behind a paywall on the Fox Nation streaming app.

The new programs put Carlson at the heart of the network's streaming strategy in addition to being the anchor of its primetime lineup, with "Tucker Carlson Tonight" maintaining the record it set over the summer as the most viewed cable-news show in the history of American TV ratings.

On Monday night, Carlson bundled a segment ostensibly on vaccine-hesitant focus groups into an attack on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. He also falsely highlighted "unresolved concerns" over COVID-19 vaccines' effect on women's fertility.

As Insider has reported, there is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine could impede fertility. The CDC officially recommends that pregnant women get vaccinated.

The central theme of Carlson's anti-vaccine segments has been that his viewers should not trust what elites are telling them about the safety and efficacy of the shots.

He has also fueled coronavirus culture wars on other fronts, recently calling on his audience to call the police on parents who have their kids wear masks outside, describing it as "child abuse."

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