Tucker Carlson is known for spewing sewage in his clever, nightly diatribes, but his effort to raise suspicions about COVID vaccine distribution was his most fetid yet.
In his sickly sing-song fashion, he tried to argue that race is the single most important factor determining who gets the vaccine first.
He said elderly “white people” were being excluded from receiving the first shots in many places because they are from a “disfavored race.”
At the same time, in a contradictory point, he suggested African-Americans were being used as guinea pigs to test the drug before giving it to “white folks.”
He was clearly referencing the odious 1932 study that infected black men with syphilis and allowed it to go untreated to track the disease.
The men who took part in the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male” were never told they were being infected.
It’s hard to discern the motive of Carlson’s screed. It clearly had to be more than spewing anti-vaxx misinformation.
His clear intention appeared designed to stir racial tensions and inflame right-wing white supremacists.
He said the government’s plan to prioritize non-healthcare essential workers over the elderly was an example of “eugenics.”
“Old people in this country are too white to save. They even put it in writing,” he claimed. The vaccine rollout is “entirely racial.”
But like all clever propagandists, Carlson was providing only enough information to fit his racist screed.
Carlson conveniently failed to mention that African-Americans and Latinos have the highest death rates from the virus, more than 2.7 times white Americans, who experience the lowest age-adjusted rates, according to APM Research Lab.
He also failed to note that African-Americans make up a higher proportion of blue-collar essential services like public utilities, health care, sanitation and public transportation. They face a higher potential for exposure.
In contrast, elderly residents in nursing homes are in controlled environments. They exposure is limited.
The same goes for the elderly who are mostly retired and still living at home. They have the capability to shelter in place.
But such distinctions failed to register with Carlson. More likely they were conveniently overlooked to gin up his narrative.
“It’s entirely racial,’ Carlson claimed. ‘They’re making the decision based on race.”
Then, came the kicker.
‘When you are planning to distribute life-saving medicines on the basis of race, not on the basis of science, but on the basis of race, you are by definition dividing the country more deeply and more permanently than you could under any circumstances,’ he said.
Except that the vaccine distribution plan was developed by scientists at the federal Centers for Disease Control. So what science is he talking about?
Then, there was the odious reference to Nazi Germany.
“When was the last time you heard someone say something like that out loud in this country? Probably not since around 1945, when we all agreed that letting certain people die because of their race was bad public policy, not to mention evil,” he said.
In previous shows, Carlson questioned the vaccine’s safety, without any evidence to back up his claims, aside from a few anecdotal incidents.
He rationalized his slanted screed by claiming he has the right to voice healthy skepticism. “You are not a conspiracy nut for wanting answers,” Carlson said.
Finally, Carlson fanned antigovernmental sentiment, which is sure to be a regular theme, now that a Democrat is in the White House.
“Americans understand that most of their leaders really do not care about them,” said Carlson.
The Fox News talking head, rarely criticized the Trump administration, despite repeated blunders and instances of incompetence.
There is only one outcome to this blatant propagandizing.
“Tucker Carlson is going to get people killed,” said Dr Miranda Yaver, a health policy political scientist at the University of California in LA.