Fox News vaccine
Molly Butler / Media Matters

Research/Study Research/Study

Fox News’ relentless and outlandish attacks on every vaccine mandate except for its own

  • Introduction

  • Fox News hosts and contributors have made many shocking claims about vaccine mandates and testing requirements in recent months, even while the network’s parent company, Fox Corp., has enforced these same policies. Reporting on the “Fox Clear Pass” details that employees must submit their vaccination record or show a negative COVID-19 test every day to move throughout the office, a requirement which is even more stringent than the Biden administration’s weekly testing policy for businesses with more than 100 employees.

    Vaccination mandates have a long legal history in the U.S., yet Fox News personalities have consistently undermined vaccines and claimed that any policy requiring them is “immoral” -- all while downplaying or ignoring their personal adherence to Fox’s own strict mandate. When questioned about Fox News’ own vaccine mandate, primetime darling Tucker Carlson bumbled his response and refused to give a straight answer: “I’m not qualified to speak for the company on this because I don’t run the company. I’m just an employee of the company.”

    These outrageous claims include comparing the choice to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to actual oppression based on race or ethnicity, such as Jim Crow-era exclusion policies and segregation. Fox host Will Cain went a step farther and compared vaccine passports to Nazi Germany, while Fox contributor Raymond Arroyo compared vaccine requirements to a conservative proposal that those affected by the HIV/AIDS crisis should have to get tattoos identifying their medical status. Hosts Tucker Carlson and Jesse Watters even launched unhinged attacks claiming that vaccine requirements were examples of eugenics, akin to forced sterilization.

  • Here’s a noncomprehensive list of the many outlandish claims attacking vaccination and testing requirements that have been promoted by Fox News:

  • Fox News’ most ridiculous claims about vaccine mandates and testing requirements

    • Fox host Will Cain: “We are on the verge of East German-style ‘show me your papers'” with vaccine requirements. [Fox News, Fox News Primetime, 5/17/21]
    • Network contributor Rachel Campos-Duffy: “I am always amazed that it is in these liberal cities that they are the most repressive. And not only that, the people are so willing to give up their rights -- including their medical liberty --  these are the same people who say ‘my body, my choice.’” [Fox News, Fox & Friends Weekend, 6/27/21]
    • Frequent Fox guest Charlie Kirk repeatedly compared vaccine requirements to “medical apartheid”: “It's almost this apartheid-style, open-air hostage situation, like, oh, you can have your freedom back if you get the jab.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 7/7/21]
    • Greg Gutfeld: “If they start talking about orders -- Americans don't take orders. We follow laws, but you give us an order, you’re going to have some trouble.” [Fox News, The Five, 7/23/21]
    • Prime-time host Sean Hannity said of vaccine and mask mandates: “In city after city, the left's draconian pandemic restrictions, they are now coming back." [Fox News, Hannity, 7/26/21]
    • Host Tucker Carlson on the federal vaccine mandate: “This is about politics and social control. The Biden administration has decided it owns your body... American citizens should never be forced to take medicine they don't want, period. Government should never require people to submit to any medical procedure, whether that procedure is sterilization or frontal lobotomies or COVID vaccinations.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 7/27/21]
    • Host Greg Gutfeld on vaccine passports in New York City: “In New York City, Bill de Blasio introduced a vaccine passport to the city... The new passport system calls for showing proof of vax to enter gyms, restaurants, and entertainment venues, which judging by the stats I just mentioned, effectively bans most Blacks. Just like the Dems did to them during the classic Jim Crow days. So who is the Hitler now? If 70% of Black New Yorkers are unvaccinated, they're the ones getting banned. Talk about white privilege.” [Fox News, Gutfeld!, 8/4/21]
    • Fox contributor Raymond Arroyo on vaccine requirements: “Bill Buckley, then it was when the AIDS crisis was raging, he said all people with HIV should be identified and tattooed. ... We're moving toward something like that here and I don't like it.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 8/4/21]
    • Fox contributor Miranda Devine: Vaccine mandates “would be the new Jim Crow.” [Fox News, Hannity, 8/6/21]
    • Host Lawrence Jones claimed “Democrats are reviving segregation. The white-only signs that people like Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, and countless others fought to tear down are making a comeback -- but this time, they are cleverly disguising them as vaccine passports.” [Fox News, Fox News Primetime, 8/9/21
    • Tucker Carlson questioned what's stopping the government from sterilizing or lobotomizing people if vaccine requirements are enforced. [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 8/9/21]
    • Will Cain: “There is a disturbing amount of compliance” with vaccine mandates in America. [Fox News, Fox News Primetime, 8/17/21]  
    • Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt quoted a woman who described vaccine mandates as “segregation” and compared being unvaccinated in 2021 to being Black during the civil rights movement. Discussing low rates of vaccination in the Black community, co-host Brian Kilmeade asked “where is Al Sharpton?” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/18/21
    • Will Cain on vaccine requirements: “And this is all while restaurants, gyms, and potentially flight and interstate travel segregation has begun to descend over this country. This is insanity.” [Fox News, Fox News Primetime, 8/18/21]
    • Fox News contributor Ari Fleischer warned that a vaccine mandate could lead to expanded government power and even “family leave,” along with “any other item on the liberal death -- wish list.” [Fox News, Hannity, 9/9/21]
    • Laura Ingraham used her prime-time show to interview Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, who claimed: “This kind of forced vaccination is actually very, very harmful to public health.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 9/9/21]
    • Will Cain: Biden instituted a vaccine mandate in order to “divide” Americans and force them to “comply” as part of a “war on the unvaccinated.” [Fox News, Fox News Primetime, 9/10/21
    • Rachel Campos-Duffy on vaccine and testing requirements: “Joe Biden declared war on freedom yesterday and took authoritarianism to a whole new level.” [Fox News, Fox News Primetime, 9/10/21]
    • Fox host Jesse Watters compared vaccine and testing requirements to forced sterilization of disabled women: “They ended up sterilizing like hundreds of thousands of women, you know, decades ago because they were crazy and they were having imbecilic children. That was the agreed upon consensus back then.” [Fox News, The Five, 9/10/21]
    • Will Cain suggested that vaccine requirements to board planes could violate the 1964 Civil Rights Act, comparing vaccine mandates for airline travel to historic discrimination against Black Americans. [Fox News, Fox News Primetime, 9/10/21]
    • Hannity warned viewers that “you will be canceled” and the government will target “your loved ones” if you don’t get vaccinated: “You will be cancelled in society altogether, you will be shut out of everything.” [Fox News, Hannity, 9/10/21]
    • Fox host Rachel Campos-Duffy claimed that vaccine mandates will be the “beginning of the communist-style social credit system.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/13/21]
    • Tucker Carlson: Without “mass resistance” to vaccine mandates, conservatives will be forced to take “psychotropic meds.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 9/13/21]
    • Tucker Carlson endorsed the use of illegal counterfeit vaccination cards “to get around insane vaccine mandates, which are immoral.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 9/16/21]
    • Sean Hannity: Biden was “vilifying half the country” over the ”clearly unconstitutional vaccine mandate." [Fox News, Hannity, 9/16/21
    • Rachel Campos-Duffy called for “civil disobedience” over vaccine and testing requirements. [Fox News, Fox News Primetime, 9/17/21]
    • Tucker Carlson: “The point of mandatory vaccination [for the military] is to identify the sincere Christians in the ranks, the free thinkers, the men with high testosterone levels, and anybody else who doesn't love Joe Biden and make them leave immediately.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, [9/20/21]
    • Host Pete Hegseth encouraged “mass civil disobedience” over mask mandates. [Fox News, Fox News Primetime, 9/21/21
    • Rachel Campos-Duffy warned that “young people” are too “accepting” of “a police state when it comes to COVID." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/22/21
    • Fox “straight news” anchor Martha MacCallum suggested that vaccine mandates will “ruin” the country. [Fox News, The Story with Martha MacCallum, 9/30/21]
    • Will Cain: “We are simply segregating, we are simply separating. We are separating based upon our embrace of government mandates, vaccine mandates.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends Weekend, 10/2/21]
    • Greg Gutfeld compared vaccine mandates to the military draft, “because the draft is taking control of your body, and so are vax mandates.” [Fox News, The Five, 10/7/21
    • Laura Ingraham warned her audience that Democrats are trying to “target your kids with their vaccine mandates.” She suggested the solution would be to “drop the mandates and leave people alone.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 10/7/21]
    • Fox contributor Mollie Hemingway blamed worker shortage on vaccine mandates: “You have vaccine mandates that are making -- and other issues that are making people not want to work.” [Fox News, The Story with Martha MacCallum, 10/8/21]
    • Will Cain reported global protests against the “authoritarianism and control” of “COVID restrictions, vaccine passports, [and] medical mandates” as part of “a top-down attempt to control people across this world.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends Weekend, 10/10/21]
    • Rachel Campos-Duffy criticized Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan for “clearly putting vaccination ahead of public safety” with a vaccine mandate for police. [Fox News, Fox & Friends Weekend, 10/10/21]
    • Brian Kilmeade said the mandate shows Biden “wants to make those unvaccinated people the dredges of the Earth, they should be vilified and told never to leave your house, how dare you.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/12/21]
    • Tucker Carlson said vaccine mandates “are hurting the country.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 10/12/21]
    • Fox contributor Kimberley Strassel blamed the Biden administration’s child tax credit and vaccine mandates for supply chain disruptions. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 10/14/21]
    • Greg Gutfeld praised professional basketball player Kyrie Irving for being the “sacrificial lamb” and speaking out against “blanket mandates.” [Fox News, The Five, 10/14/21
    • Laura Ingraham claimed that “Democrats are showing their true authoritarian colors on the vaccine issue” and attacked the “small-minded control freaks” implementing vaccine mandates. [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 10/14/21
    • Tucker Carlson claimed that “there is no public health justification” for vaccine mandates, adding, “It is an assault on public health. Americans will lose their lives because of what Joe Biden is doing. It is the most unnatural disaster imaginable.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 10/15/21]
    • Rachel Campos-Duffy said vaccine mandates for police are “just another way to kick them while they're down.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends Weekend, 10/17/21]
    • Fox News contributor Dan Bongino begged to be fired from Cumulus Media, which distributes his radio show, for refusing to comply with the company’s vaccine mandate. [Fox Nation, The Dan Bongino Show, 10/18/21]
    • Fox anchor Harris Faulkner said the mandate “isn’t about the vaccines” but about distracting the public and pitting “the vaccinated against the unvaccinated.” [Fox News, Outnumbered, 10/18/21]
    • Tucker Carlson: If your employer can ask about your vaccine status, what's stopping them from asking if you're circumcised. [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 10/19/21]
    • After Steve Doocy outlines Fox News’ own vaccine and testing requirements, host Brian Kilmeade fearmongers that 10-15% of the workforce will leave due to vaccine mandates and later ups his own estimation to “prepare to lose 30% of your workforce.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/20/21]