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As the nation continues to face a growing problem with vaccine hesitancy, Meghan McCain is pointing to messaging toward Republicans and white evangelicals as part of America’s struggle with ending the pandemic. On this morning’s episode of The View, the conservative co-host said she was “horrified” with “the way people are talking to Republicans,” accusing them of categorizing unvaccinated Americans as “dumb morons in the middle of the country who are going to kill everyone.”
During a conversation about the nation’s increasingly difficult task of reaching herd immunity, McCain insisted that has no problem with vaccines and received the Covid vaccine herself, but the messaging surrounding the issue is “psychotic.”
“When we were first talking about vaccine hesitancy on this show, a lot of it centered around minority populations who were hesitant because of valid things like the Tuskegee experiment,” McCain began. “The narrative and the feeling coming out was compassion and trying to convince people in a way of empathy that we all need to be in this together, we should all get vaccinated together, and I think it was effective.”
Now, she said, she’s noticed a shift. “The messaging toward evangelicals and Republicans is, ‘You dumb hillbillies, stay the hell away from me,’” McCain argued. “I don’t think there’s any way that’s gonna convince anyone of anything if that’s the messaging that’s coming out of the White House.”
Citing opposite mask mandates in Florida and Brookline, Massachusetts, McCain said “a lot of this feels like it’s more about control than science.” She added, “If the vaccine is 94 percent effective … if the vaccine works, why do we have to wear masks outdoors? Why do we have to wear masks inside? And that’s also part of the messaging problem.”
McCain’s take was a drastic shift from Sunny Hostin‘s comments earlier in the show. Hostin, who lost her in-laws to Covid, suggested a stricter system to enforce vaccinations. In order to reach herd immunity, “We need to shun those that refuse to get vaccinated,” Hostin said, suggesting a “No mask, no entry” policy for businesses or flights. “You don’t get those other liberties that come with immunity,” she said. “You don’t get to infringe on the rights of those who have chosen to protect their fellow citizens.”
Later in the show, Hostin seemingly shut down McCain’s comments about mask guidelines, saying, “The reason people can’t take off their masks is because the variant is spreading amongst all those Republicans and white evangelicals that are refusing to get vaccinated.” She added, “That’s what the problem is in terms of messaging. It’s not on the left, it’s not on Democrats. It’s on Republican to Republican.”
The View airs weekdays at 11/10c on ABC. Watch today’s full segment on vaccine hesitancy in the video above.
Where to watch The View