Tucker Carlson and Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson sat together on TV last night, squinting their dirty little beady eyes at each other and spreading conspiracy theories about COVID-19, which is still hospitalizing and killing Americans every day, primarily unvaccinated people. Of course, there are breakthrough cases, and there are exceptions, but overwhelmingly it's the unvaxxed, and overwhelmingly, it's in the South.

So it's morally fine for Tucker Carlson and Ron Johnson to lie to whichever Fox News viewers aren't sick or dead yet, right? Sure, it's probably fine.


This asinine lie from the Senate's Dumbest Republican is what a lot of people are talking about today:

JOHNSON: These mandates are driven by the bait and switch of the FDA that we now have an approved vaccine. We do not have an approved vaccine in America.

They did it for the Comirnaty — it's available, I guess, in Europe, but the Pfizer vaccine available in the US is not FDA approved — it's got an emergency use authorization.

I wrote a letter to the FDA on August 26th — they have still not given me an answer of why didn't they approve it? Why are they basically lying to the American public? That's a serious question to be asked — is we are destroying our health care system with these mandates.

What, you hadn't heard that AKSHULLY, according to people who get their news from scrolling through Facebook in their underpants, the FDA didn't approve the Pfizer vaccine, even though yes they did?

Apparently this is a new-ish conspiracy theory for the horse paste crowd, because you can never have too many of those. Aaron Blake explains at the Washington Post that the purveyors of this conspiracy theory, which came from the stupidest bowels of the internet, are seizing on the fact that Pfizer rebranded the vaccine as "Comirnaty" when it won full FDA approval, and saying that because there is also existent Pfizer vaccine that is under the earlier Emergency Use Authorization that is not called Comirnaty, then therefore ...

Uh, it's confusing what these morons are even trying to claim, let Blake try to explain it:

[T]hey boil down to the idea that the FDA has engaged in a bait-and-switch. While it fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that will be marketed under the name Comirnaty, the FDA also extended the emergency-use authorization for the same vaccine under the existing name.

Yes, we see, "bait-and-switch," just like Senator Fuckup said. They think that because "Comirnaty" exists as the same time as the original Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, then there must be a TRICK! and a 'SPIRACY! Blake quotes other notable brain wizards like Steve Bannon and Robert F. Kennedy, who agree there is a TRICK! and a 'SPIRACY! Blake also quotes experts, who explain how dumb this shit really is:

Chris Beyrer, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School Public Health, noted that the existing Pfizer vaccines that have been produced and purchased can't legally be overlabeled with the Comirnaty branding, even as they are the same thing.

"That's why there may be, for some time, EUA Pfizer doses in use before [fully authorized] Comirnaty becomes more widely available," Beyrer said. "This is standard, nothing unusual, and [it] does not void an EUA."

OHHHHHHHH! So they can't just slap the name "Comirnaty" on the boxes of vaccine that's already been produced, which means literally the same vaccine that's fully authorized under the name "Comirnaty" IS ALSO available in its previous packaging. That's the big conspiracy theory.

In August, when Blake debunked that one, he wrote, "This is something largely relegated to the extremes of the vaccine-skeptic community," but noted that it was starting to catch on. Fast forward to October, and here is the dumbest man in the Senate saying it out loud with a straight face to Tucker Carlson.

This is some desperate shit.

At the beginning of the clip above, Johnson barfed out another one. You see, Pfizer has been testing an antiviral for treating corona. Wingnuts have decided, based on literally nothing besides liars lying to them dO yOuR oWn rEsE#ArCrfHH, that the drug Pfizer is testing is JUST LIKE THE HORSE PASTE THEY HAVE ALL BEEN TAKING IN A SPOON WITH SOME PEANUT BUTTER. Meanwhile Merck has a new drug, molnupiravir, that's somewhat helpful in treating COVID-19 infection. But Merck ALSO MAKES HORSE PASTE SO WHY NOT JUST EAT HORSE PASTE IT IS A CONSPIRACY!

It was the Merck part of that particular conspiracy theory that Johnson blarped out:

In making his case, Johnson even adopted the derisive name that has been ascribed to molnupiravir: "moneypiravir."

"The doctors' groups that I'm dealing with — they call it 'moneypiravir,' " Johnson said. "Now Merck, by the way, invented or they patented ivermectin. They've been trash-talking ivermectin in favor now of this drug that'll be like $700 a dose, vs. ivermectin [which] costs about six or seven cents a pill."

Far be it from Wonkette to say pharma companies are angels who would never do such a thing, but fuck off. As Blake notes, it is indeed true that Merck's corona drug is way more expensive than horse paste. He also notes that studies show horse paste doesn't fix COVID and that no, Pfizer's antiviral isn't like horse paste, so comparing any of these things is like comparing apples to, you know, horse paste.

Johnson told Tucker that "there's something very sinister going on here, Tucker, and it has cost tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people their lives." Wait, what has cost hundreds of thousands of people their lives? Unclear, Ron Johnson is just saying words.

TUCKER ASKED: You've had over 700,000 people die. Is there any evidence that any of these measures, which really have reshaped the country completely, have saved a huge number of lives? I mean, if we had just ignored it, would many more than 700,000 have died? Sincere question.

Tucker golden retriever curiosity face dot gif.

RON JOHNSON ANSWERED: I doubt it! But I'm sure they'll come up with the science to prove they've saved all kinds of lives! Science has been corrupted, our medical system has been corrupted. I put a chart on the Senate floor last week that showed the pandemic was winding down before the vaccines ever had a chance to take off. Now you'd expect on that chart that the pandemic would have continued to wind down. It didn't, we've had this huge Delta surge!

It's almost like when they said there was a new strain of the virus, what they really meant was that there was ... a new strain of the ... fuck it.

Tucker said he doesn't know why Ron Johnson is "the only one saying this," but said he's "grateful" that he is. And then Tucker tried to say goodbye, at which point Ron Johnson AND ANOTHER THING-ed and said the conspiracy theory about the fake FDA approval, and oh God we are so, so tired of writing this post multiple times per week, the end.

[Media Matters / Washington Post / ibid.]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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