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World: How Vaccine Companies Have Bankrolled Fox News’ Anti-Vaxx Insanity

‘Out for Blood’: Inside Tennessee’s Self-Imposed Vaccine Fiasco

  ‘Out for Blood’: Inside Tennessee’s Self-Imposed Vaccine Fiasco NASHVILLE—Less than a week before she was ousted as the top vaccine official in Tennessee, Dr. Michelle Fiscus received a package at her office. It had been sent via Amazon without any note or indication of who might be behind it, she told The Daily Beast. Inside was a black leather muzzle with nylon straps that looked to be made to fit a dog. Fiscus, who became head of the state’s immunization program in January of 2019 and practiced as a pediatrician in Middle Tennessee for 17 years, already knew she had a target on her back.

With increasing regularity over the past few months, Fox News has peddled vaccine skepticism and at times outright resistance to its millions of viewers, leading critics to accuse the network of “killing people” as large swaths of conservatives refuse to get vaccinated.

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos Getty © Provided by The Daily Beast Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos Getty

And it turns out that such dangerous rhetoric has, in effect, been sponsored by the pharmaceutical giants involved in developing, manufacturing, and distributing the very vaccines that Fox News hosts and pundits have railed against on a near-daily basis.

Few immigrants in detention have been vaccinated. That needs to change.

  Few immigrants in detention have been vaccinated. That needs to change. Covid-19 outbreaks in ICE detention have made vaccinations more urgent.As of last week, 8,221 immigrants in US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, or roughly 30 percent of the detained population, had received one dose of the vaccine, CBS News reported. Just over 1,300, or about 4 percent, had received two doses. (The agency has not indicated how many immigrants have refused the vaccine or have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is just one dose.

According to research provided by liberal watchdog Media Matters for America, some of Fox’s top advertisers include Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, and Novartis AG. Other top vaccine manufacturers, like Pfizer and AstraZeneca, have run hundreds of commercials on the network since the start of the year and rank among the cable network’s top 150 sponsors.

Most of the commercials were not for the drugmakers’ vaccines, but rather direct-to-consumer advertisements for their prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Johnson & Johnson, which has administered nearly 13 million doses of its one-shot COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, is currently one of Fox News’ top advertisers, ranking in the top 15 to date. As of July 16, the pharmaceutical company has run 1,579 commercials during Fox News programming.

Will we all need COVID vaccine booster shots?

  Will we all need COVID vaccine booster shots? How do boosters work and how can we celebrate Eid safely this year?A booster vaccine is designed to strengthen our body’s immune response to an antigen or “foreign invader” that it has been primed to respond to by a previous vaccine. These are commonly used to protect against diseases such as tetanus and polio, where, after time, our immunity against the antigen wanes. Boosters are usually a shot of the same vaccine again, just given at a later date.

The company’s spots have been spread across Fox’s so-called “straight news” and opinion programs, with the dayside news broadcast America Reports airing the most J&J ads at 192 total, followed by late-night news program Fox News @ Night with 186.

At the same time, right-wing opinion shows like Fox & Friends and its early-morning and weekend offshoots have also aired hundreds of J&J commercials between them. And hard-right nighttime programs like Next Revolution with Steve Hilton and The Ingraham Angle—all shows that have devoted ample airtime to vaccine skepticism—have featured multiple Johnson & Johnson ads this year.

GlaxoSmithKline is an even bigger Fox advertiser than Johnson & Johnson, ranking in the top five of the network’s sponsors. The multinational pharmaceutical giant is currently in a Phase III trial of the COVID-19 vaccine it developed with French pharma company Sanofi. As of mid-July, GSK has run 2,836 ads on the network, including an eye-popping 1,272 on Fox & Friends alone. It also has run dozens of ads apiece on late-night “comedy” show Gutfeld! along with weekend mainstays Watters’ World, Next Revolution, and Justice With Judge Jeanine.

Team Biden Somehow Failed to Hire Someone to Fight Vaxx Disinfo

  Team Biden Somehow Failed to Hire Someone to Fight Vaxx Disinfo As early as last autumn, public health experts and political leaders were sounding the alarm that conspiracist campaigns posed a dire threat to a future nationwide vaccination program—a threat that necessitated the appointment of a “disinformation czar” to counter anti-vaccine messaging. The incoming Biden administration initially intended to heed those calls by placing a disinformation expert on the White House COVID-19 Response Team, according to multiple members of the transition team, but never followed through.

GSK’s round-the-clock advertising on Fox News even outpaces that of Mike Lindell’s MAGA pillow company MyPillow in terms of the number of ads run on the network.

While nowhere near as prevalent on Fox airwaves as GSK or J&J, Sanofi appears to be more willing than other drugmakers to air its ads during the network’s right-wing opinion shows, which tend to provide far more anti-vaccine resistance and conspiracy theories than their “hard-news” counterparts.

Of the 500 ads Sanofi has run this year on Fox News, 115 have been on Hannity, 53 have appeared in Ingraham’s hour, 43 have shown up on Watters’ World and seven have aired on Tucker Carlson Tonight, a program that has long seen an exodus of blue-chip advertisers due to the eponymous host’s racially inflammatory rhetoric.

Novartis AG, which has entered into multiple agreements to manufacture other firms’ vaccines, has also been a top-20 Fox News advertiser this year, running 1,479 ads, including 198 on Fox & Friends, 34 on Ingraham Angle, and 63 on Gutfeld! Furthermore, it has aired 58 commercials on Fox News Primetime, the network’s early-evening opinion show anchored by a rotation of hosts, some of whom have been the network’s loudest vaccine skeptics.

Doctor urges Australians to get the Covid vaccine

  Doctor urges Australians to get the Covid vaccine An Australian doctor has urged younger Australians to consider the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, saying the risk from an adverse reaction to peanuts is higher. Dr Kean-Seng Lim from Mt Druitt in Sydney's west said NSW is in a situation where for those in hotspot areas, getting a vaccine as a priority may be better than waiting for Pfizer vaccine. Australia's peak authority on vaccines ATAGI recommends Pfizer for people aged under 60 because of a very rare blood-clot side-effect linked to AstraZeneca - but anyone over 18 can access this option if the provide 'informed consent'.

“Our goal is to reach audiences where they are looking for information. We evaluated our July channel mix and reallocated funds where appropriate,” a Novartis spokesperson told The Daily Beast. “We take an audience led approach to our advertising placements—knowing where our key audiences are looking for information determines how and where we place our content.”

Interestingly, one major pharmaceutical company that had been a regular advertiser on Fox News—Merck—suddenly pulled all of its ads from the network in May and has yet to return.

Fox News, meanwhile, is coming off a highly profitable year. In 2020, Fox Corporation’s cable news division saw its revenue increase to $1.49 billion, aided by $441 million in advertising. The ad revenue represented a 31 percent jump from the year before.

In response to this story, Fox News pointed The Daily Beast to a sampling of times in which on-air personalities across dayside and primetime have pushed vaccine awareness over the past few months. In May, for instance, The Five’s Jesse Watters and Dana Perino announced they had been vaccinated, with Watters specifically urging viewers to “just get vaccinated” in order to stop CDC regulations pertaining to summer camps.

Besides a number of hosts and anchors acknowledging they’ve received the vaccine or even taking part in network PSAs encouraging viewers to get their shots, several Fox News guests—such as Chris Christie—have promoted the vaccines during on-air interviews. Additionally, a recent study found that Republicans who watch Fox News are far more likely to accept vaccines than those who consume far-right alternatives One America News or Newsmax.

As the pandemic wears on, some Americans could need booster shots

  As the pandemic wears on, some Americans could need booster shots Some health officials now think a third shot could help older and immunocompromised people. Israel is already offering a third Pfizer shot for immunocompromised residents — though millions of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have yet to be vaccinated — and Pfizer has previously suggested that a booster shot could be needed in the US. Regulatory questions abound Though the US currently has tens of millions of surplus Covid-19 vaccine doses on hand, making a third Pfizer or Moderna shot available to millions of immunocompromised or elderly Americans likely won’t be a quick process.

Another study from February, meanwhile, claimed that Fox News viewers are just as informed on COVID-19 as those who watch CNN and MSNBC, and that there’s no significant differences between CNN/MSNBC and Fox viewers’ knowledge about vaccines or their acceptance of vaccine conspiracy beliefs.

“FOX News has reported on the severity of COVID-19 as well as on vaccine safety throughout the pandemic, including producing numerous PSAs, primetime specials along with hosting top medical professionals across our platforms to ensure our audience remains informed on all the critical details,” a Fox News spokesperson added in a statement. “Since the heightened threat of the Delta variant, the network has also implemented a vaccine tracker tool along with new PSAs urging viewers to get vaccinated. Our coverage has been consistent throughout with an overwhelming majority of our audience supporting the vaccination efforts.”

But two of the network’s most influential and widely viewed stars, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, have been at the forefront of Fox News’ anti-vaccine coverage for months. The pair and their guests have openly said that the vaccines are dangerous, questioned whether they work at all, and justified Americans’ refusal to get their shots.

While Carlson’s show has long been a welcome haven for so-called COVID contrarian Alex Berenson—known as “the Pandemic’s Wrongest Man”—to peddle disinformation about vaccination and coronavirus mitigation efforts, Ingraham has also hosted her share of supposed experts to fearmonger about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.

Mandate the vaccine, not masks

  Mandate the vaccine, not masks Vaccines are the solution to Covid-19. Let’s make the most of them.With the rise of the delta variant and a rapid increase in Covid-19 cases, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling on vaccinated people to wear masks indoors again in places where the virus is quickly spreading. At least some school districts will likely require masks this fall. Local governments, from Massachusetts to California, are reviving mask mandates.

“There is no reason right now, no clinical reason to go get vaccinated,” cardiologist Peter McCullough declared on Ingraham’s show just last week.

And Carlson—who refuses to say whether or not he’s been vaccinated—and Ingraham are far from the only ones repeatedly promoting vaccine skepticism on Fox’s airwaves.

Amid the Biden administration’s recent push to boost stagnating vaccination rates, nearly 60 percent of Fox segments on vaccines have included claims that undermined or downplayed vaccination efforts, according to one Media Matters study.

Fox & Friends most actively undermined the vaccines, according to the survey, airing 25 segments to that effect, including co-host Brian Kilmeade’s complaint that Biden administration attempts to increase the number of vaccinated Americans were “mind-boggling.”

In fact, over the sample two-week period, Kilmeade made at least 22 separate claims downplaying the vaccines. Ingraham made 18 such claims, followed by Carlson and Fox & Friends hosts Rachel Campos-Duffy, Ainsley Earhardt, Pete Hegseth, and Will Cain, who all made at least 10 claims to similar effect.

Furthermore, Carlson and other Fox personalities have repeatedly railed against the concept of businesses and public spaces requiring proof of vaccinations. Yet, while Carlson has branded such “vaccine passport” concepts akin to “medical Jim Crow,” his own network quietly implemented such a system for its employees last month.

The “FOX Clear Pass,” as first reported by The Intercept’s Ryan Grim, allows for Fox News employees to self-report their vaccination status to a network database, which will then allow the employees to bypass the company’s required daily health screenings when arriving at the office.

At the same time, there was a noticeable shift in the tone of Fox News’ vaccine coverage on Monday: While Carlson, Ingraham, and Kilmeade continued to peddle anti-vaxxer rhetoric, a number of Fox News anchors and dayside hosts began to actively encourage the network’s viewers to get vaccinated.

Tucker Carlson: This isn't about the science, here's proof

  Tucker Carlson: This isn't about the science, here's proof Tucker Carlson examines the evidence behind the CDC's new mask recommendations and highlights how their new guidance is all about power.If you’re looking for a single snapshot that perfectly distills the pure, hallucinogenic absurdity of the moment we’re living in, consider the Biden administration’s new guidance on COVID. We learned yesterday that America’s children will spend yet another year with covered faces. This, despite the fact that masks are demonstrably terrible for kids, and kids face no meaningful threat from coronavirus. Doesn’t matter. The White House says kids have to mask up. And so they will.

Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy, for instance, debunked a series of conspiracy theories that have spread on social media while also defending the Biden administration’s efforts to increase vaccination rates.

“Ninety-nine percent of the people who have died have not been vaccinated. And so, what they’re trying to do is… make sure that all the people who have not been vaccinated get vaccinated,” he said Monday morning, much to the chagrin of co-host Kilmeade, adding: “If you have the chance, get the shot. It will save your life.”

Though he simultaneously lent credence to vaccine skepticism and criticized potential vaccine mandates, Hannity also implored his viewers on Monday night to “please take COVID seriously” while declaring that he “believes in the science of vaccination.”

And since then, many of the network’s “straight news” broadcasts have repeatedly highlighted an on-air graphic urging viewers to visit the federal government’s website providing information on immunization sites.

Meanwhile, it would also appear that the Biden administration is taking a backdoor approach in combating the network’s vaccine misinformation by paying to run PSA ads from the Department of Health and Human Services during Fox’s broadcasts.

According to Media Matters, the HHS has run more than 175 commercials on the network since April, in some sense paying Fox News to counter-program the vaccine hesitancy the network has often actively stoked.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Tucker Carlson: This isn't about the science, here's proof .
Tucker Carlson examines the evidence behind the CDC's new mask recommendations and highlights how their new guidance is all about power.If you’re looking for a single snapshot that perfectly distills the pure, hallucinogenic absurdity of the moment we’re living in, consider the Biden administration’s new guidance on COVID. We learned yesterday that America’s children will spend yet another year with covered faces. This, despite the fact that masks are demonstrably terrible for kids, and kids face no meaningful threat from coronavirus. Doesn’t matter. The White House says kids have to mask up. And so they will.

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