The remarkable Republican reversal on vaccines

An elephant.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

If it were possible for abrupt shifts in political messaging to induce whiplash, millions of Republican voters would be wearing neck braces this week. After months of deliberately cultivating skepticism about the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines, a number of conservative talking heads and elected officeholders have done a 180 on the issue this week.

Fox News has led the way. First morning show (Fox & Friends) co-host Steve Doocy urged viewers to get vaccinated: "It will save your life." Then, on Monday evening, prime time host Sean Hannity begged those watching to "please take COVID seriously — I can't say it enough ... I believe in the science of vaccination." By Tuesday night, even the highest-rated and most obsessively vaccine skeptical host on the network, Tucker Carlson, appeared to waver in his efforts to cast doubts about the efficacy of getting the shot.

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