Flashback: Eight Times Democrats, Media Encouraged Coronavirus Vaccine Skepticism

Former vice-president and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden briefly removes his mask as he greets supporters alond with his wife Jill Biden and Senator from California and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, at the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention, held virtually …
OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

Oftentimes, leftists in politics and corporate media have accused the GOP of politicizing Chinese coronavirus vaccines. Hosts in conservative media, like Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, have been called “evil” and have even been accused of killing people for challenging the reported antidote to the first pandemic in 100 years.

But before President Joe Biden took office and attempted to take credit for the fastest vaccine rollout in history, some leftist politicians and talking heads — the ones on CNN, MSNBC and the like — cast doubt themselves. The Trump administration could not possibly oversee the creation of a vaccine in that short amount of time, let alone have it be safe and effective, some elites asserted.

After a shaky transition in 2021 to one of the most liberal presidencies in United States history, those same people lined up and got their shots — virtue signaling to everyone as they did so and demanding the rest of the public do the same.

While some people have short memories, the internet does not. Here is a by no means comprehensive list of leftist hypocrisy at work:

1. Joy Reid, MSNBC

Joy Reid, who hosts “ReidOut” on MSNBC tweeted in September 2020 criticizing the CDC, FDA, and President Donald Trump for his handling of the pandemic.

“I mean, will anyone … anyone at all … ever fully trust the @CDCgov again? And who on God’s earth would trust a vaccine approved by the @US_FDA ?? How do we get a vaccine distributed after this broken, Trumpist nonsense has infected everything? Even if Biden wins?,” she tweeted.

Since then, the host has gotten fully on board with Chinese coronavirus vaccines and flipped the script on Republicans who do not wish to follow in her footsteps. In July 2021, Reid went as far to say that those who support Trump and are not vaccinated are in a “death cult.”

“Trump’s following is in many ways a cult,” Reid said in an interview with Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show. “And now it appears to be a sort of Jim Jones-era cult. A death cult.”

2. Kamala Harris

Before she was Vice President, Kamala Harris famously said she would not get a shot if Trump was the one telling her to take it.

“If the public health professionals, if Dr. Fauci, if the doctors tell us that we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it, absolutely. But if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it,” Harris said during the vice presidential debate in October 2020.

During a September appearance on far-left CNN, when asked if she would “get” a vaccine approved while Trump was in office, she said, “Well, I think that’s going to be an issue for all of us. I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump… I will not take his word for it.”

After the election, Harris got a coronavirus vaccine on live television — the same vaccine developed under the Trump administration and Operation Warp Speed.

“I want to encourage everyone to get the vaccine. It is relatively painless, it happened really quickly, it is safe,” she said after receiving the first dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine. “I look forward to getting the second vaccine. Literally this is about saving lives…I trust the scientists, and it is the scientists who created and approved this vaccine.”

According to the New York Times, the U.S. government gave $1 billion in support for the design and testing of the Moderna vaccine under Operation Warp Speed.

“Researchers at the National Institutes of Health oversaw much of the research, including the clinical trials. Moderna also received an additional $1.5 billion in exchange for 100 million doses if the vaccine proved to be safe and effective,” the Times reported.

3. Brian Stelter, CNN

Brian Stelter, who hosts a tanking show on CNN called “Reliable Sources,” also has a history of questioning the vaccine before he eventually decided to “trust the science.”

In November 2020, Stelter retweeted an article from CNN which seemingly mocked Trump’s efforts to create a vaccine.

“Biden has spent these early days as President-elect pleading with Americans to pay attention to the relentless surge of Covid-19” as Trump “continues to ignore the deepening crisis and touts the promises of yet-to-be-approved vaccines as his panacea,” the tweet reads.

Before his tweet, Stelter appeared on “The Late Show” in September with Stephen Colbert and said the vaccine will “cause a lot of worry and a lot of angst.”

“Understandably people are going to be skeptical — as they should be. And skepticism is the last thing we want when it comes to science and evidence-based vaccine research,” he continued.

Stelter now fully supports vaccines and even bragged about getting the shot during his show, saying he’s never been “so excited to get a vaccine.” During the same show, he slammed Republicans for not getting vaccinated and blamed Tucker Carlson for sowing vaccine hesitancy.

“You are what you watch, and it could make you sick,” Stelter concluded.

4. Joe Biden

Before Joe Biden became President, he made digs at Trump by publicly doubting the safety of coronavirus vaccines.

“People don’t believe that he is telling the truth [about the safety of the vaccine candidates],” Biden asserted in August 2020. “Therefore, they’re not at all certain they’re going to take the vaccine.”

“It’s not likely to go through all the tests and the trials that are needed to be done,” he added, referring to the potential vaccine.

During a presidential debate in September 2020, Biden again questioned the safety of coronavirus vaccines.

“In terms of the whole notion of a vaccine, we’re for a vaccine, but we don’t trust [Trump] at all, nor do you. What we trust is a scientist,” he said. 

In January 2021, Biden got his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, a company which also received money from Operation Warp Speed under the Trump Administration. 

Since taking office, Biden has ceaselessly promoted the vaccines and even attempted to take credit for the speedy manufacturing and distribution of the vaccines ordered by then-President Donald Trump. In fact, Biden is so enthusiastic about the vaccines, that he will be sending officials out to knock on people’s doors across America to pressure them to get the shot. 

“Now we need to go community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and often times door by door – literally knocking on doors to get help to the remaining people,” Biden said during his speech about coronavirus.

5. Chris Hayes, MSNBC

In March 2020, Chris Hayes, host of “All in with Chris Hayes” on MSNBC, said Trump was “nuts” for focusing on vaccine development.

“Trump’s obsession/focus on a vaccine is nuts. It is totally immaterial to the short-term challenges, which are substantial,” he said in a tweet.

Hayes defended the 2020 tweet when Intercept columnist Glenn Greenwald criticized him in a followup tweet last week.

Since his initial tweet in 2020, Hayes has repeatedly criticized Republicans who decide to forego the vaccine.

“One political movement is trying to turn the vaccine into a culture war wedge so that their people don’t get vaccinated—so they can stick up their middle finger at the other parts of America at the cost of American lives,” Hayes said.

He also called Fox News host Tucker Carlson “evil” and said Carlson’s rhetoric is “getting people sick and killed.”

6. Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), who is accused of covering up thousands of nursing home deaths during the pandemic, publicly doubted Trump and the FDA during the initial vaccine rollout.

“I don’t trust the president and I don’t trust the FDA. … The vaccine, he said yesterday that the FDA was being political in saying they actually wanted to review the vaccine. So, yeah, the American people don’t trust the FDA. They shouldn’t. Trump has politicized this entire situation. He’s overridden health and science with politics,” Cuomo said during a broadcast of MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” with Joy Reid.

In September 2020, Cuomo announced that New York would review vaccine safety independently of the federal government.

“So the first question is, is the vaccine safe? Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion. And I wouldn’t recommend to New Yorkers based on the federal government’s opinion,” Cuomo said during a press conference.

Months later, Cuomo approved a voluntary vaccine passport system for New York State created via public-private partnership.

Cuomo on Monday said it is the community’s mission to get more people vaccinated, previewing his administration’s desire to knock on doors, put unvaccinated people in cars, and drive them to “get that vaccine in their arm.”

“And we have to get in those communities, and we have to knock on those doors, and we have to convince people, and put them in a car and drive them and get that vaccine in their arm. That is the mission,” he said during Monday’s press conference, where he announced the allocation of $15 million from the state’s budget to promote vaccinations.

7. Rachel Maddow, MSNBC

In October 2020, Rachel Maddow, who hosts “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC, retweeted an article from the Washington Post and used a sentence from the article as the caption.

“Trump has plotted with his team on a pre-election promotional campaign to try to convince voters a vaccine is safe, approved and ready for mass distribution — even if none of that is true yet,” the tweet reads. 
In contrast, Maddow, who has always been a staunch critic of Trump, said during her showing in April 2021 that she “was sitting there bawling [her] eyes out” after getting the vaccine.
 “It is ok to feel reluctant or ‘oogie’ or scared and not want to get it. That is nothing to be ashamed of. But feel the fear and do it anyway — get it. Because most of all, it is not for you. It is to keep you from getting it and then spreading it,” she said.

8. Gavin Newsom

California Governor and French Laundry frequenter Gavin Newsom, followed in Cuomo’s footsteps by questioning vaccine safety under the Trump Administration.

“A question I often get is: Are you going to take someone’s word for it as it relates to vaccines?” Newsom said. “Of course we don’t take anyone’s word for it.”

“We will do our own independently reviewed process with our world-class experts,” he said.

Newsom, who is currently facing a recall election, is completely on board with coronavirus vaccines now. Just Monday, he announced that California will require state employees and all healthcare workers to provide proof of vaccination or get tested at least once a week, starting next month.

“Too many people have chosen to live with this virus,” Newsom said during a press briefing.

“We’re at a point in this epidemic, this pandemic, where individuals’ choice not to get vaccinated is now impacting the rest of us in a profound and devastating and deadly way,” he said.

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