On his Fox News program last night, Tucker Carlson continued his campaign for Worst Person In America Maybe Even Including Donald Trump, with a rant about the small number of people who have had allergic reactions to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Apparently bored with insisting Donald Trump is still president, Carlson has moved on to suggesting there's something nefarious about all these media reports saying the vaccine against the deadly pandemic might be a good thing. As ever, the maxim holds: There are few situations Tucker Carlson can't make worse.

Before we look at the video, let's Truth Sandwich this: Every medication carries some risk of side effects, including allergic reactions, particularly among people who have a history of severe allergies. As of right now, out of more than 130,000 doses delivered in the UK in the first week and lord knows how many tens of thousands in the US in the vaccine's first week (probably similar, but darned if we could find a firm number), it looks like there have been exactly four people who had allergic reactions, two in the US and two in Britain. Here in the USA, two healthcare workers in Juneau, Alaska, had reactions; one suffered relatively mild symptoms, but the other, a middle-aged woman with no known history of allergies, had to be hospitalized Wednesday after she went into anaphylactic shock. Doctors described her reaction as "serious but not life threatening," and she soon stabilized; by Thursday, the hospital planned to hold her for one more day for observation before releasing her.

ER doc Lindy Jones said, "During the whole time, she was still enthusiastic that she got the vaccine and the benefits that it would give her in the future," and the hospital's press release said the woman was "still encouraging her colleagues to get the vaccine."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed yesterday that those are the only known cases of allergic reaction in the country. Further, the CDC recommends that while patients with a history of serious allergic reactions to vaccinations should consult with their doctors before getting the vaccine, and be monitored for 30 minutes after getting the shot, they should still get the vaccine, because the risks of COVID-19 are far greater.

The CDC only recommends avoiding the vaccine for people who have a known allergy to specific components of the vaccine (ask your doctor). But for folks with other allergies, like to bee stings or food allergies, no special precautions.

Now that we've inoculated you against Tucker Carlson's dangerous bullshit, here's the video; side effects may include disgust, nausea, and yelling "oh come ON, you idiot!" Look at this prick:

Essentially, Carlson is very very concerned that so much of the media discourse about the vaccine is so darn positive, which makes him think we're being sold a bill of goods. This is because he confuses "critical thinking" with "naysaying any kind of expertise." He's especially angry that Ian McKellen, or as Tucker says, "the guy who played Gandalf," seemed suspiciously enthusiastic about getting vaccinated:

"It's a very special day," the Gandalf actor told Reuters. "I feel euphoric. I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone. I feel very lucky to have had the vaccination." In other words, tastes great, less filling, he is indeed a very lucky man.

Ah, but then it was time for the SCARY STORY from Alaska, though shorn of any mention that it's literally the only severe reaction in the entire country so far. Carlson suggested Dr. Jones had to be part of an insidious plot to downplay the (very rare) event. OH NO WE JUST DOWNPLAYED IT TOO:

And you will feel lucky when you finally get the vaccine, that's what a health care worker in Juneau, Alaska, feels tonight. Lucky. She got the vaccine two days ago. Woman had no history of allergies, but within minutes, she developed a severe anaphylactic reaction to it, and then had trouble breathing. She wound up in the emergency room overnight. It was all a fantastic experience, according to the doctor who treated her.

Quote, "During the whole time, she was still enthusiastic that she got the vaccine, and the benefits it would give her in the future." What a cheerful patient she must be. We've got to assume she is, in any case, because we can't really know. The authorities didn't release her name. All we know is she's a highly satisfied customer.

Yet another, have a vaccine and a smile. Just do it.

Carlson then claimed that he thinks vaccines are great lifesavers, and that he's strongly supportive of vaccines, but he sure is skeptical of what he claimed is a coordinated campaign to sell people on vaccines — a massive propaganda effort he seems to have invented entirely in his head.

It feels false, because it is. It's too slick. The Gandalf guy was euphoric because he got a shot? It wasn't heroin, it was the corona vaccine. The lady who couldn't breathe is enthusiastic as she is rushed to the emergency room?

Come on. This is patronizing. Stop with the slogans. Better to treat Americans like adults, explain the benefits, be honest about the risks, and let the rest of us decide. In this country, we control our own bodies. They're always telling us that. But no. Suddenly, the rules have changed. On the question of the corona vaccine, our leaders definitely not pro-choice. Their view is do what you're told, and don't complain, and no uncomfortable questions.

Yep, there he goes again with his THEY are trying to control you bullshit, an empty paranoia that applies equally to medical science and to people getting advanced academic degrees.

Then he was back to complaining that Big Tech is out to silence people simply for spreading dangerous unscientific bullshit about the pandemic, because he's literally the worst person on TV.

For all Carlson's garbage, we certainly haven't seen Big Brother on the Telescreen forcing us to get the Victory Jab, but then, we're not paranoid cranks who need to amp up an audience to keep them permanently afraid. Discussions of the cases in Britain and in Alaska certainly haven't said there's no risk. But Carlson doesn't actually want an accurate, mature discussion of the risks, because it turns out the risks are actually quite low, and how are you going to get people to tune in for another dose of fear that way?

[Media Matters / Stat / CNN / CBS News]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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