Fox News host Sean Hannity, who has spent considerable airtime downplaying the effects of Covid-19, urged viewers on Monday to “take it seriously.”
“Please take Covid seriously. I can’t say it enough. Enough people are dead. We don’t need death anymore,” he said. “Search like crazy. Talk to your doctor, doctors, healthcare professionals you trust based on your unique medical history, your current health condition, and you and your doctor are making a very important decision. for your own safety. “
After emphasizing the importance of “medical confidentiality” and “doctor-patient confidentiality,” Hannity added, “And it makes perfect sense that many Americans get vaccinated. I believe in science, I believe in the science of vaccination.
However, he stopped directly promoting vaccination. During a segment on universities requiring students to be vaccinated, Hannity said there are very “rare cases where people have serious underlying health issues that could be made worse by the vaccine.” He highlighted a woman who he said was paralyzed for a month after taking a different vaccine in 2019.
“That’s why it’s important that you research, talk to your doctors, and make the decision – together with your doctor – that is best for you,” Hannity said.
At the start of the pandemic, he preached to his viewers that Covid was only as bad as the flu, and that Democrats were using the virus to attack then-President Donald Trump.
Fox News hosts have been criticized for downplaying the effects of the deadly virus in its infancy and now, turning vaccinations into a political fight by pushing back President Joe Biden’s efforts to get Americans vaccinated.
White House officials said on Friday that nearly all recent hospitalizations and deaths involved unvaccinated people. Meanwhile, five of the top six states with the highest daily average cases over the past two weeks, driven in part by the delta variant, have below-average vaccination rates and voted for Trump last fall. .
A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found that while only 6% of Democrats said they were likely to refuse the vaccination, 47% of Republicans said they were unlikely to be vaccinated.
Hannity isn’t the only Fox News host to sound the alarm bells.
“Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade compared skipping the Covid-19 vaccine to cliff diving, saying on Monday that people who do not survive the disease have made the “choice” to die.
The claim came as co-host Steve Doocy urged those who resisted to get the shot in order to get the shot. “If you get the chance, get yourself vaccinated. It will save your life,” Doocy said.
During another segment, co-host and presenter Bill Hemmer asked Fox News medical contributor Marc Siegel: “The vaccine works, doesn’t it? isn’t it, doc? “
“The vaccine works extremely well even against the delta variant, preventing infection 90% of the time,” Siegel told Hemmer.