May 17, 2022

On Thursday’s MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes, the host launched a scathing attack on right-wing media for its rhetoric discouraging people from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. While Hayes first targeted the hosts of Fox & Friends, the same message is also widespread among Fox News’ prime-time opinion shows Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham.

“We continue to see this very worrying, dangerous trend of the right-wing media, you saw some of it there, people in the most conservative parts of the country turning against the vaccine,” Hayes said, “and the leaders of this movement are cowardly. They refuse to have the courage of their convictions. They will not come out and say they are against the vaccine. Instead, they take this straw-man stance, saying they’re just against anyone trying to promote the vaccine, or, heaven forbid, mandate it.”

Hayes continued by accusing some members of the right-wing media of wanting people to obtain the vaccine but being scared to say it for fear of appearing to want them to die.

Hayes then shifted his attention to former President Donald Trump, who was surreptitiously vaccinated while in office and had periodically advised his staff to do the same. However, Hayes chastised Trump for not doing more.

“The exiled former president has occasionally, half-heartedly made that argument, telling the crowd at CPAC in February, quote, ‘Everybody go get your shot.’ But he’s not really leaning into it,” Hayes said. “At the end of the day, he’s just as scared of the anti-vaxxers in the base as the rest of his party, the rest of the conservative movement.”

Hayes was critical of many in right-wing media for not being truthful about vaccines, noting Trump and Carlson in particular, the latter of whom has consistently disparaged vaccines and questioned their safety for months while ignoring overwhelming evidence that they save lives.

“All of them, from Donald Trump to Tucker Carlson, are cowards when it comes down to it,” Hayes said. “They’re just chasing after the base; they’re chasing the base. They’re not leading. They’re not telling them things they don’t want to hear.”

As COVID cases continue to grow in parts of the country with poor vaccination rates, the majority of which are populated by Trump supporters, Hayes offered a suggestion for how Trump should vaccine his following.