As deadlier, more contagious variants of the virus that's killed over 600 thousand Americans continue to emerge, a major obstacle in stopping the spread are the millions who willfully refuse to take a vaccine, despite their proven safety and effectiveness.
Beyond conspiracy theories involving magnets and microchips and marks of beasts, a key talking point of anti-vaxxers was that none of the vaccines were fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), though all of the vaccines in American circulation have been approved by the body for emergency use.
But on Monday, that talking point evaporated.
After reviewing 340 thousand pages and data from 44 thousand clinical trials, the FDA fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a move that loosens constitutional constraints on vaccination requirements and is expected to prompt a wave of new vaccine mandates.
Fox News, which platforms some of the most widely-reached disinformation regarding vaccines, immediately began moving the goalposts, suggesting the approval was "rushed."
Fox anchor Dana Perino said in a segment:
"Sizzler for you now, The FDA just giving full approval for Pfizer's COVID vaccine. It's the first vaccine to get that full approval, and in record time to. That has critics asking if the process was rushed. Was it?"
Never mind that Fox News' on-air talent repeatedly praised former President Donald Trump for a vaccine creation plan literally titled "Operation Warp Speed."
Perino brought on Admiral Brett Giroir, who assured the audience:
"What this says today is we know the benefits. We know the harms. And this vaccine is safe and effective and every confidence can be given to that."
Then, less than a minute after Perino suggested the approval was "rushed," co-anchor Bill Hemmer asked:
"What took so long?"
The conservative network was once again prioritizing partisanship over safety and accuracy.
Some called out the network, and its owner Rupert Murdoch, for hypocrisy.
Fox has already mandated its own version of a vaccine passport system for employees.