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John Oliver Pummels Tucker Carlson and Joe Rogan for Spreading Vaccine Myths

John Oliver sits in his void with Tucker Carlson on a graphic beside him.
The segment involves more than just name-calling, though calling Carlson a “scrunch-faced fear baboon” is pretty good. HBO / Screengrab from YouTube

On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver took aim at one of the biggest issues of our time: the myths that have caused many people to hesitate to take the COVID-19 vaccines. Throughout the episode, Oliver called out misinformation “superspreaders” like Alex Jones, Tucker Carlson, and megapopular podcaster Joe Rogan (who, as Oliver notes, later called himself a “fucking moron” for his anti-vaccine statements). He then named each of the biggest misconceptions and conspiracy theories causing people to remain unvaccinated (including the mistaken ideas that it’s unnecessary, that Bill Gates is supposedly using it to microchip people, that it was made in too much of a rush, that it changes your DNA, that it causes infertility in women) and debunked them one by one.

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Oliver ended the segment with something of a twist, as he revealed that research for the segment suggested that people hesitant to take the vaccine “generally don’t respond well to hearing from politicians, celebrities, or athletes telling them to get the vaccine.” As such, Oliver advised against the impulse to persuade people who are vaccine hesitant by showing them this clip, instead encouraging viewers to put the knowledge within it to good use by attempting to convince unvaccinated people in their lives on their own. If they’re really on the fence, let them know that getting the jab could also prevent them from having to later issue a Rogan-style apology.

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