Geraldo Rivera said Wednesday that he thought “less” of those who had chosen not to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
Rivera said on Fox News’ “The Five” that refusing to get vaccinated was “an arrogant, selfish, reckless act,” adding later in the show, “If you come into my grandchildren’s house and you’re not vaccinated, I’m going to kick you in the ass.” (RELATED: ‘I Have The Right To Protect My Kids’: Geraldo Rivera Wants To Keep Unvaccinated Out Of Stores, Schools, Even Jobs)
Rivera, who has previously argued that unvaccinated people should be barred from certain venues — including workplaces — said he had no problem with the idea of vaccine passports or businesses demanding proof of either a vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test.
“I know some people will think less of me when I say what I’m about to say, but I think less of people who are not vaccinated. I think it’s an arrogant, selfish, reckless act,” Rivera said. “I have five grandchildren, all under the age of 12, who are susceptible to someone sneezing on them. I think it is absolutely so selfish, that it is appalling.”
Rivera went on to say that sometimes it was the government’s job to tell rather than ask the people to do things, and he argued that the coronavirus vaccine was one of those instances.
“I want people to have to show, when I go to the bar, I want to know everybody is vaccinated. Or have the test,” he said.
“Geraldo, what other government-instituted health things do you think they should mandate on everybody?” cohost Katie Pavlich asked.
“Measles vaccine, smallpox vaccine —” Rivera continued.
“But should we be subject to seeing your personal records?” Pavlich pressed.
“You’re changing the topic,” Rivera protested, but Pavlich continued, “What about if we start asking people about other procedures?”
“This is caveman stuff,” Rivera insisted.
Cohost Jesse Watters pointed out the fact that a number of military men and women had not yet been vaccinated, asking, “Do you think they are cavemen? Do you think they are — answer the question, Geraldo.”
Rivera pivoted to argue that the vaccine had been politicized — and Watters argued that Rivera was the one politicizing it.
“That’s absolute bull, that’s a bunch of crap,” Rivera said.
“It’s not a good way to get people vaccinated,” Watters said, turning to cohost Greg Gutfeld for his opinion on the topic.
“The politicizing is bad, but also, I don’t believe that your intent, Geraldo — and I’m sorry to say this — is to persuade anybody. Because nothing you said is persuasive,” Gutfeld said. “When you call people names — and I know this from my own history — it doesn’t persuade anybody.”
“Too bad … If you come into my grandchildren’s house and you’re not vaccinated, I’m going to kick you in the ass,” Rivera said, prompting Gutfeld to point out that since it was his house, he did not have to let them in anyway.
“You are basically smearing half of — you just said you think less of them —” Gutfeld tried to continue while Rivera kept talking over him.
“It’s now my turn. Half the New York City public safety workers aren’t vaxxed, right? So you think you’re better than they are,” Gutfeld prompted.
“It’s not a question of better or worse,” Rivera said, prompting objections from several of the cohosts.
Gutfeld went on to claim that a lot of people who did not trust the vaccine or who did not yet have access — such as illegal immigrants coming across the U.S.-Mexico border — were people of color.
“You can read about in The New York Times rather than just trying to yell at people,” Gutfeld concluded. “And then there’s people called the wait-and-seers. They want to see what the after effects are, these are people that may not have risk factors and they are waiting. Most of these people, a lot of them are in Delaware, the home of Joe Biden. When you sit here and try to crap on Americans because it makes you feel good, ‘You’re not going to come to my house!’ We don’t want to go to your house, ok? We want to live our lives.”
“I’m not going to invite you. Because of that, I’m not going to invite you,” Rivera shot back, prompting laughs from around the table.