Another week, another racist incident on Fox News. What else is new? In a rant Monday, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade questioned why President Joe Biden did not demand more Black people be vaccinated in the country. While he stressed that only doctors should promote the COVID-19 vaccine, Kilmeade blamed Biden for not admonishing Black Americans, who he claimed put Biden in office.
“Why doesn’t the president call out African-Americans who put him in office and yell at them to get the shot?” Kilmeade said. The segment began with Texas Republican Congress member former White House Physician Ronny Jackson. Jackson made some controversial comments of his own, including the fact that he allegedly only got the vaccine because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would not let him go on foreign trips without it.
Donald Trump’s former doctor claimed he does not identify as anti-vaxx, but has consistently spoken against the COVID-19 vaccine and still supports not vaccinating children.
The conversation drifted on in regards to who should get the COVID-19 vaccine and whether healthy people and children need it. “I don’t want a politician telling me what to do with a 5-year-old,” Kilmeade said. “That should be parent and pediatrician. I’m sure you agree with that.”
As Kilmeade and Jackson went back and forth discussing those in support and not in support of the vaccine, Kilmeade took a jab at Biden for “losing patience” with those refusing to get the vaccine.
“When the United States president is losing patience, he is losing patience with PhDs. They are one of the largest sections of people who aren’t getting the shot,” Kilmeade said, with no evidence to reference. “Medical workers as well as African-Americans, because only four of 10 have gotten the shot,” Kilmeade ranted on.
Kilmeade’s unsourced commentary follows known hesitation in the Black community toward the vaccine, which has since then changed due to the delta variant.
According to NBC News, polls found that following the spread of delta, Black Americans surpassed white Americans in the rate of vaccination by double digits. They were also the racial group most likely to say they’ve been vaccinated, at 76%. The lowest rate of vaccinations was among those who voted for Trump. According to Pew Research and the Public Religion Research Institute, conservative men are one of the most stubborn groups of Americans who refuse to get the shot … of course, Kilmeade’s racism does not allow him to acknowledge this.
Where exactly he got his (mis)information is unclear at this time.
The comments also follow other racist ideologies Republicans have repeated about Black Americans and COVID-19, including an incident in which Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves blamed low vaccination rates in the state on “a very large African American population.”
Since vaccines were made available, Black and Latino Americans have had lower vaccination rates not only because of hesitation but lack of access. Many state officials prioritized vaccinating wealthy white Americans before anyone else. Additionally, vaccine sites were closed through the U.S.
But this isn’t the first time Kilmeade has made headlines for his racism on air. In a previous segment of the show, he said Swedish people have “pure genes,” while Americans don’t because they “marry everybody” including “other species.” Following backlash, he later apologized for the comment.
But Kilmeade isn’t alone. In a separate interview with Fox News, Jackson even alleged that Dr. Anthony Fauci could’ve created the coronavirus.
“We shouldn’t be taking advice from this guy at this point, we should be investigating this guy. As each day goes forward, it’s more and more obvious that we’re going to find out that Tony Fauci and the NIH are responsible for the coronavirus,” Jackson said. “They funded this research. They gave the money to the lab in China that was doing gain of function testing that resulted in the coronavirus. They created it, and the Chinese let it out and it got here to us in the United States. And so it’s unbelievable that the spokesperson for the White House right now, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, my old job in the Trump administration, is potentially the guy that created the virus.”
What’s baffling is how Jackson thinks people will trust him following drinking and drug allegations that led to his firing as presidential doctor under the Obama Administration.
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