Tucker Carlson treated his viewers Wednesday night to a diatribe against wearing masks, rashly asserting that the pandemic-era practice is “useless” and always has been.
Several times in his monologue, Carlson inaccurately framed news clips to try to prove his point, beginning with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson declaring that the U.K. would soon let its national mask mandate expire.
“At the same moment that Boris Johnson announced that masks don’t work,” Carlson said, “Joe Biden declared that he is going to send 400 million masks to American citizens so that every person in America can be safe for a day. It is lunacy. It is depressing to watch and has massive implications.”
To be clear, Johnson still suggested “the use of face coverings in enclosed or crowded spaces, particularly when you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet.” Secondly, there is no hard and fast rule on how many uses one can get out of N95 masks, which the Biden administration is shipping out starting next week.
But Carlson was just getting started. “Watch Biden’s own COVID adviser admit that masks don’t stop transmission,” the Fox News host said.
“We know today that many of the face cloth coverings that people wear are not very effective in reducing any of the virus movement in or out—either you are breathing out or you are breathing in—and in fact if you are in the upper Midwest right now, anybody who is wearing their face cloth covering can tell you they can smell all the smoke that we are still getting,” Dr. Michael Osterholm said in an August 2021 clip.
In fact, the CDC has long noted that facial coverings made of cloth, which Osterholm was clearly discussing, are not as effective as surgical masks or N95 masks.
Carlson then doubled down on portraying criticisms of cloth masks as knocks on masks in general.
“A few months later, in December, last month, CNN’s resident doctor admitted it is true: Masks are useless. They have always been useless,” Carlson said.
In the December clip, former Baltimore health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen had this to say:
“Cloth masks are not appropriate for this pandemic. It is not appropriate for Omicron. It was not appropriate for Delta, Alpha, or any of the previous variants, either.”
Altogether, Carlson somehow interpreted these comments as evidence against wearing any mask at all.
“So Joe Biden knows masks don’t work. CNN knows that masks don’t work. Joe Biden’s COVID adviser knows masks don’t work. The country of Great Britain has admitted that in public,” Carlson claimed. He then posited that the fate of society itself is jeopardized when people cover their nose and mouth.
“They act like there is no cost to covering your face. But the truth is, human beings need to see one another’s faces. It is not optional. We pretend that it is,” Carlson said.
“Any society that ignores natural imperatives, things as basic as seeing other people’s faces, will destroy itself and the people who live within it. Everyone knows that. What you just saw is not science. It is mental illness.”