Tucker Carlson brags about not being vaccinated against COVID-19 during megachurch speech

Tucker Carlson brags about not being vaccinated against COVID-19 during megachurch speech

For months, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson tirelessly promoted anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories on his show but wouldn’t say whether or not he had been vaccinated for COVID-19. According to Daily Beast reporters Justin Baragona and Lachlan Cartwright, however, Carlson bragged about being unvaccinated during a Saturday, April 2 appearance at an evangelical Christian fundamentalist megachurch in La Jolla, California.

Certainly, not all Christians are anti-vaxxer extremists. Many Catholic and mainline Protestant churches have helped their members find COVID-19 vaccines. But anti-vaxxer attitudes are common among far-right white evangelicals, including those who attend Awaken Church in La Jolla (a San Diego suburb) and applauded Carlson’s speech on April 2.

“For more than a year now, Fox News star Tucker Carlson has gone out of his way to avoid confirming whether or not he’s vaccinated,” Baragona and Cartwright report. “This month, however, he bragged about having not gotten a single jab. While speaking at Awaken Church earlier this month, the prime-time star heaped praise on the San Diego megachurch for defying COVID-19 restrictions throughout the pandemic before mocking the need for additional booster shots.”

Carlson’s visit to Awaken Church inspired a protest from Ukrainian-Americans, who were critical of the Fox News host for praising Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Fox 5 San Diego.

During his Awaken Church speech, Carlson mocked the COVID-19 vaccines as well as their booster shots. Carlson, according to Voice of San Diego, told the crowd, “I skipped the first three, I’m not getting that one either.”

Those comments drew applause from anti-vaxxers in the crowd.

Carlson also told Awaken attendees that he isn’t opposed to vaccines in general, only COVID-19 vaccines.

Carlson said, “I’ve had like a million of them…. I look at these people, like, this just does not make sense at all. And I have no idea what’s up here, but whatever you’re telling me, it’s just not true.”

Baragona and Lachlan Cartwright note, “Additional audio provided to Source Material by the nonprofit investigative outfit confirmed Carlson’s remarks, which further included him citing his having grown up ‘next to the Salk Institute in La Jolla’ as evidence that he is ‘obviously’ not opposed to vaccines.”

Although Carlson and others at Fox News have often downplayed the severity of COVID-19, the pandemic has been the world’s worst health crisis since the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918/1919. According to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, the COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 6.1 million people worldwide — including over 985,000 in the United States. But thanks to COVID-19 vaccines, many of the infections that are occurring at this point are not life-threatening.

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