Tucker Carlson claimed that ‘roughly 30 people every day’ are dying after taking a coronavirus vaccine, sparking backlash in the scientific community on Wednesday night.
The CDC says that 148 million Americans have now been vaccinated, with huge benefits to the health of the nation.
Carlson said that many viewers will have had their shot – ‘and good for you’ – but said people were not being told enough about the potential risks.
‘Here is a very simple question: How many Americans have died after taking the COVID vaccine?’ he asked his three million viewers, on a show that is regularly the most-watched on cable.
Health experts pointed out that the risks have been studied, and deemed minimal.
Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night condemned the ‘societal pressure’ to get vaccinated
Carlson then cited data from the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) – a site run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which records any adverse response to a vaccine.
Carlson pointed out that, according to the VAERS statistics, 3,362 people died after receiving a COVID vaccine in the United States between December and April 23.
‘That is an average of roughly 30 people every day,’ he said.
He claimed that there were far fewer deaths reported after other vaccines, such as the flu jab, and suggested that the Democratic administration currently in power needed to investigate what was happening.
‘Vaccines are not dangerous,’ he said.
‘That is not a guess, we know that pretty conclusively from the official numbers.’
But he said more investigation was needed into the COVID jabs.
‘It is clear that what is happening now, for whatever reason, is not even close to normal,’ he claimed.
‘It’s not even close to what we see in previous years with previous vaccines.
‘Most vaccines are not accused of killing large numbers of people.’
The CDC said: ‘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 revealed no evidence that vaccination contributed to patient deaths.’
A woman is seen receiving her COVID shot on Wednesday in Aberdeen, Maryland
The VAERS website emphasizes that their data is unverified and does not suggest causation
Public health experts quickly contested Carlson’s conclusions.
They pointed out that the VAERS database is heavy with disclaimers, which point out that someone dying after receiving a vaccine is not the same as someone dying as a result of a vaccine.
Anyone is able to upload data to the VAERS site, meaning that its conclusions are not necessarily accurate.
Furthermore, the VAERS site states the system ‘has not detected patterns in cause of death that would indicate a safety problem with COVID-19 vaccines.’
They also emphasized that Carlson did not know when the deaths were: the first people to be vaccinated were the elderly and most vulnerable, who were always more likely to die at some point.
Dr Dana Mazo, an assistant professor of medicine who specializes in infectious diseases at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, told Reuters that it was important to distinguish between association and causation when looking at post-vaccine death records.
‘The idea is that we are vaccinating millions of people,’ Mazo said.
‘And, unfortunately, when you look at 96 million people, some of them might die, and they would have died if they hadn’t been vaccinated.’
Dr. Joël Belmin, head of geriatrics and vaccination coordinator at l’hôpital Charles-Foix in Paris, said in a WebMD speech: ‘In older people, due to their great frailty, a significant amount of spontaneous mortality is expected.
‘In a retirement home, one in five people die each year. It’s therefore difficult to directly attribute these deaths to the fact that these people were vaccinated.’
The CDC estimates that about 1.3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered to residents in long-term care facilities as of January 18.
By comparison, in that time frame VAERS had received 129 reports of deaths following COVID-19 vaccination in long-term care facility residents.
Dr Gregg Montalto, a Chicago-based pediatrician, said that Carlson was failing to ask basic statistical questions.
Dr Craig Spencer, an ER doctor based in New York, described Carlson’s conclusions as ‘pure, absolute stupidity’.
He pointed out that the death rate from COVID was plummeting amid the vaccination campaign, and said: ‘Did some of them die the day before they were gonna get vaccinated? Yes.’
Carlson’s segment echoed videos circulating on Facebook, such as one viewed 21,000 times entitled: ‘COVID19 VACCINES DEATH TOLL CLIMBING!!!’.
It shows a person scrolling through a VAERS dataset of death reports and saying: ‘This is the list of all the people who have died from vaccines.’
The narrator clicks on random entries, including a 38-year-old in New Mexico and a 65-year-old in Ohio who were both given the Pfizer vaccine, before saying that ‘the vaccine itself will kill you.’