Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is under fire again for promoting conspiracy theories, weeks after he falsely claimed, multiple times, that the failed siege of the U.S. Capitol this past January was carried out by antifa, rather than pro-Trump extremists.
Now, as officials urge people to take the vaccine for a pandemic that's killed nearly 600 thousand Americans, Johnson is feeding the frenzy of far-right conspiracy theories that the vaccine push has a more insidious agenda.
Johnson made the comments on The Vicki McKenna Show, a Madison, Wisconsin radio program.
Dangerously irresponsible. Today, @SenRonJohnson asked why there’s a “big push to make sure everybody get a vaccine… https://t.co/lQFN7UkIiq— American Bridge 21st Century (@American Bridge 21st Century) 1619123210.0
""The science tells us that vaccines are 95 percent effective, so if you have a vaccine, quite honestly, what do you care if your neighbor has one or not? What is it to you? You've got a vaccine and the science is telling you it's very, very effective. So why is this big push to make sure everybody gets a vaccine and to the point where you better impose it, you're going to shame people, you're going to force them to carry a card to prove that they've been fully vaccinated so they can participate in society. I'm getting highly suspicious of what's happening here."
Mass vaccination is necessary because viruses mutate each time they multiply. If at least 70 percent of Americans aren't vaccinated, the virus has enough breeding ground to spread, evolve, and eventually morph into a variant that renders the previously administered vaccines ineffective.
Johnson's apparent ignorance of this saw significant outcry.
Such insight from Sen Ron Johnson! We mustn't overdo the effort to save lives! Likewise, let's not overdo ambulance… https://t.co/cBNUF41qu3— Nicholas Kristof (@Nicholas Kristof) 1619185594.0
Ron Johnson: If you have the vaccine, what do you care if your neighbor has one or not? 1,300 babies have died of… https://t.co/DyovHdbnzi— JRehling (@JRehling) 1619189813.0
Ron Johnson (Q-Kremlin), who celebrated July 4th in Moscow, is doing his darnedest to ensure that America doesn’t r… https://t.co/cL3yl7StEj— Lindy Li (@Lindy Li) 1619196905.0
People had no vaccine for the influenza pandemic of 1918-19, but they had one advantage over us. Sen. Ron Johnson w… https://t.co/PokORjxnAy— Larry Sabato (@Larry Sabato) 1619192710.0
Ron Johnson continues his amazing streak of underwhelming us all.— Jesse Lifson (@Jesse Lifson) 1619195660.0
Ron Johnson is an anti-vaxxer. https://t.co/R1IqNxQB2b— Jesse Ferguson (@Jesse Ferguson) 1619185334.0
Johnson is up for reelection in 2022, and while he's undecided on running again, his comments have reinvigorated the effort to defeat him in the 2022 midterms.
Ron Johnson is dangerously stupid and has got to go. Donate to @WisDems to help them register voters and organize J… https://t.co/LGpZdBdFzD— Tommy Vietor (@Tommy Vietor) 1619187469.0
Ron Johnson is a pro-Covid, pro-domestic terrorism, pro-Russia, anti-American white nationalist who is actively try… https://t.co/CVuHiBLhwS— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch.com) 1619185491.0
Ron Johnson is "highly suspicious" of this big push to get everyone vaccinated. Can we all get together and end th… https://t.co/ZT8oElu7ua— Ben Wikler (@Ben Wikler) 1619192539.0
Senator Johnson is fully vaccinated.