While right-wing politicians and media continue to push anti-vaccine rhetoric, a lot of people in the public have noticed something: they’re not willing to say whether they’ve been vaccinated themselves. Does this mean that they’re secretly vaccinated themselves, while working to scare the general public away from an effective preventative? That’s what a lot of people are concluding, and accordingly, figures like Tucker Carlson and Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) are being pressed to honestly answer the question: have you been vaccinated?
Representative Ronny Jackson (R-TX) — formerly Donald Trump’s White House doctor — responded to this push at a press conference, where he played the victim card on behalf of Congressional Republicans, suggesting that it’s entirely unfair for those who actively spread anti-vax conspiracy theories to be asked about their own vaccination status.
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) July 22, 2021
Jackson took his seat in Congress in January, which means he was already serving when CNN polled every single member of the House and Senate, regardless of party, back in May. That being the case, perhaps he should have realized that every single one of his Democratic colleagues has already disclosed their vaccination status.
The truth is, the vaccination rate among Democrats in both Senate and House was already 100% in May.
In fact, a lot of his Republican colleagues also responded in the affirmative — nearly half of Republican House members, and a full 92% of Republican Senators. Only a few Republicans said they had not been vaccinated, with more than 100 refusing to respond at all.
Of course, it’s not clear whether being informed of these facts would alter Jackson’s rhetoric at all — after all, when he was informed that the six Democrats from Texas who tested positive for COVID-19 were all vaccinated, he just moved the goalpost to declare that they hadn’t shown any proof of their vaccination status — just disclosure (which he is arguing for Republicans to be able to dodge) was no longer enough.
While keeping one’s vaccination status private is certainly within legal rights, there seems to be a lot of either misunderstanding or deliberate misinformation about exactly what those rights cover — as when Marjorie Taylor Greene recently claimed a reported had violated her HIPAA rights by asking her whether she’d been vaccinated.
Ultimately, the public may have no legal right to that information, but it’s certainly a matter of interest when people who won’t say whether they’ve been vaccinated use a government platform to encourage vaccine hesitancy in others.