Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) unfounded claims this week that uneducated individuals are being “basically” held abroad in “internal camps” due to the new, seemingly highly transmissible, omicron coronavirus. types while reducing the risk of an uninfected population up front.
Johnson, who has spoken repeatedly on radio shows about fears about COVID-19 vaccines in his home state of Wisconsin, said it is not “irrational” to skip a coronavirus vaccine, given the old, Basing his arguments on incomplete and often misleading data. Vaccine side effects.
“We’re pretending [unvaccinated] people,” Johnson said in an interview WCLO based radio station in Janesville Tuesday. “All over the world, they’re basically putting them in detention camps.”
Johnson said government officials and the media were suppressing and censoring the “truth” about COVID-19 vaccines.
According to his staff, Johnson was referring to Australia – that is, the country’s strict travel quarantine rules – when it did not compare to the treatment of Japanese Americans in US captivity during World War II.
To be clear, Australia is not training the uneducated. but the allegation tracks with some Conservative activist Charlie Kirke False claim has also been made. In fact, Australia quarantine facilities There were strict quarantine rules for travelers returning from high-risk countries, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, and throughout the pandemic.
Johnson has a long history of spreading dangerous conspiracy theories and misinformation about COVID-19. He has pushed for the use of unproven and potentially dangerous coronavirus treatments such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, despite federal warnings against them, and incorrectly stated that vaccinated people can spread more virus than unvaccinated people.
More than 780,000 people in the US have died of the coronavirus, and the threat of a new, more transmissible version has medical officials prompting Americans to get vaccinated. In a glimmer of good news, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said this week it’s possible that Omicron is less lethal than the delta version,
“I have never underestimated the tragedy and gravity that COVID is,” Johnson told WCLO. “My point has been that I am concerned about public health officials, the media and social media creating a state of fear so that they can maintain a level of control over the population.”
However, Johnson has underestimated the severity of COVD-19 and spread misinformation about the effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines. He has reiterated a Donald Trump line that “the cure is worse than the disease,” disputes the effectiveness of mask-wearing and social distancing.
During the interview, the senator incorrectly claimed that the delta variant was less severe than the previous coronavirus variant, which is not supported by numbers,
United States saw More COVID-19 deaths in 2021 than in 2020, in large part due to the highly permeable delta variant that ravaged states with low vaccination rates. However, the delta variant was less severe for those who were vaccinated.
The kind of misinformation that Johnson is spreading is actually killing people. NPR analysis of deaths per 100,000 people Roughly 3,000 US counties found that, as of May this year, counties that voted for Trump in 2020 had a death rate of more than 60%, nearly three times the death rate of counties that voted for President Joe Biden. It was fold.
Republican politicians across America have made it part of their platform to oppose the Biden administration’s efforts to raise vaccination levels. This week, Republicans are pushing to vote in the Senate Undo administration rule Weekly COVID-19 testing or vaccination is required for large private companies. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.), a Democrat, is expected to join the Republicans in that vote.
Conservatives are also fighting federal vaccine mandates in the courts.
Johnson’s comments have drawn the attention of Wisconsin Democrats who see his seat as a potential advantage in the 2022 midterm elections. The senator has recently indicated that he will run for re-election, but has yet to make an announcement.
The Wisconsin Democratic Party declined a request for comment.