Tucker Carlson has a new and vile conspiracy theory lie to tell your impressionable Boomer Republican family members, and it's that COVID vaccines are MURDERING EVERYBODY.

If your old dumb Uncle Bubba watched Tucker last night (and he assuredly did), he heard Tucker tell him that "thousands" of people have died from getting the COVID vaccine. He said that according to some very real doctor he talked to, this is the "single deadliest mass vaccination event in modern history." Yes, just like Fox News fills your grandmother's head with verifiable bullshit about things that actually are not happening, like antifa terror hordes and Mr. Potato Head's forced castration, Tucker is now telling your misguided yet beloved grandmother that the vaccine kills.


How many exactly have died, according to Tucker's wildest imaginations and lies? Media Matters transcribes.

Carlson inaccurately asserted that thousands of people have died after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, claiming that "between late December of 2020 and last month, a total of 3,362 people apparently died after getting the COVID vaccine in the United States" and that even though the data was "not quite up to date," we "can assume that another 360 people at that rate have died in the 12 days since. You put it all together, and that is a total of 3,722 deaths. That's almost 4,000 people who died after getting the COVID vaccines. The actual number is almost certainly higher than that, perhaps vastly higher than that."

Between December and last month, 3,362 people "apparently died" after getting the vaccine, says Tucker. Does he say they died OF vaccine? Or did they die WITH vaccine? Because that's how they deny COVID deaths in people who wouldn't have died of some underlying condition if coronavirus hadn't aggravated it. (Speaking of, here's some more evidence from one of America's greatest public health experts that actual worldwide COVID deaths are likely twice as high as the official numbers.) However, in this case, the WITH and not OF thing is a valid construction. Are vaccinated car accident deaths being included here? Gender reveal explosions among the freshly vaccinated? We are just curious.

Tucker said "we can assume" — you know, based on science! — that another 360 people have died since "the data" was updated. And then — using math! — Tucker calculated that "almost 4,000 people" have definitely died, adding that based on his expertise, "the actual number is almost certainly higher than that, perhaps VASTLY higher than that."

Here's a bigger transcription of Tucker's latest deadly lie, and the video:


TUCKER: In just the first four months of this year, the U.S. government has recorded more deaths after COVID vaccinations than from all other vaccines administered in the United States between mid-1997 and the end of 2013. That is a period of 15 and a half years. Again, more people, according to VAERS, have died after getting the shot in four months during a single vaccination campaign than from all other vaccines combined over more than a decade and a half. Chart that out. It's a stunning picture. Now, the debate is over what it means. Again, there is a lot of criticism of the reporting system. Some people say, well, it's just a coincidence if someone gets a shot and then dies, possibly from other causes. No one really knows, is the truth. We spoke to one physician today who actively treats COVID patients. He described what we are seeing now as the single deadliest mass vaccination event in modern history. Whatever is causing it, it is happening as we speak.

We bolded a lot of that to note how Tucker couches his absolute lies in "just asking questions"-type deniability. He uses weasel language when he says the government "has recorded" all these vaccine deaths. (How were they "recorded"?) He says this is "according to VAERS." (Tell us more about VAERS and how these stats are compiled!) He says there's a "lot of criticism" of the reporting system. (Is it because people just don't like it, or is it valid criticism?) He says "no one really knows." (So feel free to spout an uninformed opinion!) But this doctor (what doctor?) says it's the SINGLE DEADLIEST MASS VACCINATION EVENT IN MODERN HISTORY.

As usual, the correct response is to tell Tucker to shut his fucking mouth.

The Truth

Media Matters has a full explanation of how this lie was formed, with answers to all our parenthetical questions above, noting that this conspiracy theory has been going around the wet bowels of the rightwing internet for a while now.

VAERS is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, and it's run by the CDC, but it's a tool for researchers, and not a tool for your Nana, unless your Nana is a scientist. As Politifact explains, it "helps researchers collect data on vaccine after-effects and to detect patterns that may warrant a closer look."

The key thing to get here is that VAERS is all self-reported. In other words, Wilma Wingnut can literally get on there and say somebody died because they had just gotten their second shot the day before, even though Wilma Wingnut is a documented moron. Then the researchers will check to see if Wilma Wingnut's report fits with any emerging patterns, or if she's just full of shit again.

Politifact adds these two bullet points:

  • The CDC cautions that VAERS results are not enough to determine whether a vaccine causes a particular adverse event.
  • For the COVID-19 vaccines, VAERS has received a flood of reports and become especially potent fuel for misinformation.

Got it? VAERS isn't for random Joe Shitbags on the street, and it's not for Tucker Carlson.

That's why there's "criticism" of the reporting system, because it allows literally the stupidest and worst people God ever made to use its reports to create whatever "truth" they want to create. The system is open because CDC needs people to submit legitimate reports — even if they're morons — so that scientists can pore over the data to find real and legitimate patterns.

Media Matters notes that VAERS is quite upfront about how its data should and should not be used:

VAERS' own data guide states that "a report to VAERS," including reports of death, "generally does not prove that the identified vaccine(s) caused the adverse event described. It only confirms that the reported event occurred sometime after vaccine was given. No proof that the event was caused by the vaccine is required in order for VAERS to accept the report."

And this, also from the VAERS website:

"While very important in monitoring vaccine safety, VAERS reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness. The reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. In large part, reports to VAERS are voluntary, which means they are subject to biases. This creates specific limitations on how the data can be used scientifically. Data from VAERS reports should always be interpreted with these limitations in mind."

This shit is literally all over the VAERS website, screaming at you that it's incomplete and unverified and that you shouldn't extrapolate based on your own lack of understanding of Science, What Is THAT? Apparently, according to Media Matters, "users [of VAERS] are required to acknowledge twice" that they have read and understand this. Not just people submitting reports, but people who merely want to play with their data. Maybe they should add a thing that clarifies that dilettante Swanson frozen dinner heirs who host Fox News shows should zip their fucking wordholes and go cry about gay dudes in the bathroom some more.

Media Matters also points us to this thread from radiologist Dr. Pradheep Shanker, about the good and the bad of VAERS data. They note that Dr. Shanker actually writes for National Review, so no commie Deep State plot here:

So who got some real data Tucker coulda used? The CDC got some real data Tucker coulda used!

Let's copy/paste everything CDC says about what science actually has determined about the COVID vaccine causing deaths. Surprise, they even explain here why Tucker Carlson shouldn't be playing on the VAERS website without adult supervision, in case they haven't screamed that enough:

CDC uses the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) to closely monitor reports of death following COVID-19 vaccination.

FDA requires healthcare providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS.

Reports to VAERS of death following vaccination do not necessarily mean the vaccine caused the death.

CDC follows up on any report of death to request additional information to learn more about what occurred and to determine whether the death was a result of the vaccine or was unrelated.

CDC, FDA, and other federal agencies will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

Over 245 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through May 3, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 4,178 reports of death (0.0017%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. CDC and FDA physicians review each case report of death as soon as notified and CDC requests medical records to further assess reports. A review of available clinical information, including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records has not established a causal link to COVID-19 vaccines.

However, recent reports indicate a plausible causal relationship between the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine and a rare and serious adverse event—blood clots with low platelets—which has caused deaths
.

That's the science. Fuck you, Tucker.

Who's going to be the first litigant to be granted standing to sue Tucker for every cent he'll ever make because one of their loved ones listened to Tucker and died?

Because if we were a creative wrongful death lawyer right now ... Oh hell, Fox News would just argue again that no reasonable person would think Tucker was telling the truth, and they'd probably win again.

[Media Matters / Politifact / CDC]

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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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