Cancel culture is still alive and well — but it now includes those who haven’t received a coronavirus vaccine.
Cancel culture used to be just about saying the wrong things, attending the wrong events or voting for the wrong politicians. A public figure who committed any of those sins, whether they were current infractions or the result of excavating 10 years worth of tweets, could find themselves persona non grata.
But a new sin has been added to the list of unforgivables — refusing a coronavirus vaccine — and President Joe Biden appears to be actively encouraging the criticism of the unvaccinated. (RELATED: ‘Wonderful Concoction Of Being Both Stupid And Mean’: Will Cain Says Don Lemon Approaches ‘Exterminationist Language’ On Vaccines)
Biden has on a number of occasions referred to the surge of the delta variant as a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” and even said in a recent speech that he understood why some vaccinated Americans were fed up and frustrated with those who had not been vaccinated.
Biden on Covid vaccine resisters: “A distinct minority of Americans, supported by a distinct minority of elected officials, are keeping us from turning the corner. These pandemic politics, as I refer to it, are making people sick, causing unvaccinated people to die.” pic.twitter.com/mQU8IKxqha
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) September 9, 2021
Pres. Biden: ‘This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.’ pic.twitter.com/P4aoFKNDp3
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) September 10, 2021
President Biden says the U.S. is “in the tough stretch” of the pandemic “and it could last for a while.”
He blames the Delta variant, unvaccinated Americans and “elected officials actively working to undermine the fight against COVID-19,” which he says is “totally unacceptable” pic.twitter.com/k3uF9IMTDO
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 9, 2021
And as critics quickly noted, the president’s language toward unvaccinated Americans was harsher than anything his administration had directed at the “professional and businesslike” Taliban fighters who had wrested control of Afghanistan and were preventing American citizens and allies from leaving the country.
Biden had harsher things to say about unvaccinated Americans than he did about the Taliban
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 9, 2021
But Biden has not been the only one pushing the narrative that the unvaccinated are somehow “less than” or worse, wholly responsible for the spread of the delta variant. Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera has said on a number of occasions that he “thinks less” of those who have not been vaccinated.
And on another occasion, Rivera said that he would support laws preventing them from being allowed to shop or even go to work unless they get the vaccine. “Your freedoms can’t infringe on my family’s health,” he said.
CNN’s Don Lemon said that it was past time to “start shaming” those who had not been vaccinated, lumping them into the same category as anyone who still believed that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election. (RELATED: Don Lemon Claims People Use Cancel Culture As A Shield To Keep Being Racist, Sexist And Homophobic)
“And so, I think we have to stop coddling people when it comes to this and the vaccine saying, ‘Oh, you can’t shame them. You can’t call them stupid. You can’t call them silly.’ Yes, they are. The people who aided and abetted Trump are stupid because they believed his big lie. The people who are not getting vaccines, who are believing the lies on the internet, instead of science, it’s time to start shaming them. What else? Or leave them behind. Because they are keeping the majority of Americans behind,” he said.
The risk, Fox News host Will Cain said, is that “exterminationist language” often leads to next steps that are historically devastating.
“That’s the next step. Putting the unvaccinated into someplace else, camps, whatever it may be. When you listen to the cruelty of Don Lemon right there, who, you’re absolutely right, has managed the wonderful concoction of being stupid and mean at the same time, you are looking at a very dangerous person, a dangerous mind-set that is getting increasingly common out there,” he said.