July 21, 2021 -- Fox News hosts have started urging their viewers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, as the network has been criticized for its skepticism about vaccines, mask mandates, lockdowns, and other pandemic restrictions.
"I believe in science, I believe in the science of vaccination," Sean Hannity said Monday night on his prime-time show, according to The Hill.
Hannity urged viewers to talk to their doctors to make a decision based on their “unique medical history.”
"Please take COVID seriously, I can't say it enough. Enough people have died. We don't need any more deaths," Hannity said
On Monday morning, two “Fox & Friends” hosts talked positively about the vaccines, The Hill said.
Steve Doocy noted that 99% of the people who died of COVID have not been vaccinated.
“What they are trying to do is make sure that all of the people who have not been vaccinated get vaccinated," Doocy said. "If you have the chance, get the shot, it will save your life.”
In a separate segment, anchor Bill Hemmer asked Marc Siegel, the Fox News medical contributor, about the effectiveness of the vaccines.
"The vaccine works extremely well even against the Delta variant, preventing infection in 90 percent of cases," Siegel said.
The New York Times recently published a story about how Fox hosts have said things about the COVID vaccines that ran "at odds with the recommendations of health experts."
The Times quoted Tucker Carlson as suggesting that the Biden administration is trying to “force people to take medicine they don’t want or need" and called the national vaccination initiative “the greatest scandal in my lifetime, by far.”
The Times said Laura Ingraham had criticized a Biden suggestion that health workers go door to door to persuade people to get vaccinated as "creepy stuff.”
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the White House has been in contact with every network and media outlet, including Fox News, “to make sure people have accurate information, to voice concerns when we have them."
“And I think you all know we're never shy when we have an issue with a story. So that's really the frame we're looking at here. So, we understand, also, the importance of reaching Fox's audience about the Covid-19 vaccines and their benefits, and like we are with all of you here today we, of course, are in regular contact,” she said, according to CNN.
"And we also make efforts to have officials out on a range of networks to talk about Covid-19. We don't see it as a partisan issue. We don't see vaccines as a political issue. It's an issue about keeping Americans safe."