“The View” host Meghan McCain on Tuesday claimed that Democrats and Republicans are “equally responsible” for the growing hesitancy among Republicans to get a COVID-19 vaccine, drawing a tenuous link to comments last year from Vice President Kamala Harris to make her point.
Recent polls have shown that a large portion of conservatives are resistant to being vaccinated, particularly supporters of former President Donald Trump. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 42% of Republicans say they won’t get the shot.
On “The View,” McCain said she would estimate the figure to be higher, based on conversations with Republicans she knows.
However, she said that she would gladly get the shot herself, live on air.
“I do trust science. I trust doctors, and quite frankly I would let them put an iPod Nano between my shoulder blades if it means I can get drunk at Caesar’s Palace again,” she said. “However, I want to show a clip to explain why it’s happening with Republicans.”
The clip was from a September interview between Harris and CNN’s Dana Bash, who asked Harris if she would take a vaccine rolled out before the Nov. 3 election. (Trump claimed this would happen, despite his top experts warning it would take longer.)
“I would not trust Donald Trump. And it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he’s talking about. I will not take his word for it,” Harris answered.
“So she’s expressing skepticism about the vaccine under the Trump administration,” McCain said. “A lot of Republicans I know are expressing skepticism about the vaccine under the Biden administration, which is why this has been so dangerous that this has become so politicized. Both sides are equally responsible for this.”
McCain did not play Harris’s next comments, in which she noted that Trump had raised the possibility of looking into injecting disinfectant to cure COVID-19.
McCain also failed the mention that the former president had stoked vaccine denialism in the past, intentionally damaged public trust in health experts throughout the pandemic and persistently spread conspiracy theories about COVID-19 in general. He has also ignored calls to endorse the available vaccines to his base, even though he quietly received a shot himself in January.
Fox News and other right-wing media have also indulged skepticism about the jab, amplifying misinformation to their conservative viewers.
McCain said she felt there had been a “real misstep in messaging” from people like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, whom she said she doesn’t “100% trust.”
“There have been many opportunities to right this wrong, including President [Joe] Biden going on TV and giving credit to President Trump for the help with the rollout of this vaccine, which he didn’t do,” she said.
When Biden received his vaccination in December, he gave credit to the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed for helping to quickly bring the vaccine to the public.
Harris and Biden have never questioned advice from public health experts, and both received vaccines publicly.
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