Candace Owens says Trump believes in vaccines because he ‘only reads mainstream news’ and is not on the internet
Right-wing podcast host Candace Owens says former president Donald Trump’s recent vocal support for Covid-19 vaccines can be explained by his generation’s experience with inoculations and his lack of familiarity with the internet.
During an appearance on Owens’ podcast and YouTube show on Wednesday, Mr Trump defended the effectiveness of the jabs in preventing hospitalisation and death.
After Owens — who has called the lifesaving vaccines “pure evil” and claimed that one would “never” be injected into her — said people were “questioning” the shots’ effectiveness, Mr Trump interrupted her to defend the jabs developed with funding from his administration under “Operation Warp Speed”.
"The vaccine worked. But some people aren't taking it. The ones that get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don't take the vaccine," he said. "But it's still their choice, and if you take the vaccine, you're protected”.
He added: “The results of the vaccine are very good, and if you do get [Covid-19] it's a very minor form. People aren't dying when they take the vaccine."
Owens was widely mocked for her part in the exchange by a number of prominent conservative personalities, including former The View co-host Meghan McCain, who wrote that it must “sting” for Owens’ “golden god” to call out her “antivaxxer bulls**t”.
Lol, I know it stings having your golden God, Trump, call you out on your anti vaxxer bullshit. https://t.co/UoR8t1v0BJ
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) December 24, 2021
In a Friday livestream, Owens claimed that Trump’s embrace of the Covid-19 vaccines is the result of his reliance on mainstream news sources, which she said had left him unfamiliar with unsubstantiated theories that question the vaccines from more obscure websites.
“I've seen other people that are older have the exact same perspective. Like they came from a time before TV, before internet, before being able to conduct their independent research … and everything that they read in a newspaper that was pitched to them … they believed that that was a reality,” she said.
Candace Owens is doing damage control after “so many donors and supporters” are upset over Trump’s vaccine comments. She says he is old, isn’t tech savvy, doesn’t keep up with or read obscure internet conspiracies, and only follows the main stream media so doesn’t have the facts. pic.twitter.com/XAuTFfellE
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) December 24, 2021
She added that one of the “things” that was “pitched” to Mr Trump by newspapers in his youth was “this push for vaccines and believing that people were going to die without vaccines”.
“And so I believe that his support of the vaccine is genuine and it’s not based in any corruption at all,” she said.
People did, in fact, die without vaccines when Mr Trump was a young man. The future was born in 1946, nearly a decade before an effective vaccine against polio was licensed and nearly two decades before the advent of a vaccine against measles. Roughly 3,000 Americans died from polio every year before vaccinations became available, with more than twice as many dying from measles on an annual basis.
Continuing, Owens noted that “people” have said that Mr Trump is ignoring “people that are being injured” by the coronavirus vaccines and reporting those injuries on “obscure websites” such as Rumble, a YouTube-like website developed as an alternative for people banned from mainstream platforms for hate speech, spreading coronavirus misinformation, and other terms of service violations.
“I believe, also that he only reads the mainstream media news. Believe it or not, I do not believe that Trump reads or partakes in any other news sources … I don't believe that Trump is on the internet. Or … that he necessarily uses … the web … to try to find, you know, obscure websites,” she said. “I think that he just relies on, you know, typical mainstream sources, so I don't think that there's anything evil going on there”.
Owens added that she recorded the video message because her donors and supporters were questioning why Mr Trump would speak positively about vaccines on her show.