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When Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show on Monday night, the conversation turned to what could have been done differently to prevent the 700,000 coronavirus deaths we’ve seen so far.
In the course of discussing that, though, the two of them reinforced one of the bigger problems with stomping out the virus: specious conspiracy theories flowing up from the fever swamps of the Internet and social media through a U.S. senator on one of the most popular cable news shows.
Johnson’s brief appearance on Carlson’s show was the latest case study in their service as uniquely prominent vectors for coronavirus misinformation and innuendo — conspiracy theories that could very logically diminish the use of the most effective tool we have against the virus, vaccines.
The interview began with Johnson elevating something that, until Monday night, hadn’t really reared its head in reputable news outlets: the idea that ivermectin is being suppressed in favor of other, suspiciously similar and more-expensive treatments.