CDC's 'Fact Check' on Tucker Carlson Over School COVID Vaccine Mandate Leaves Out Huge Detail


This week, Tucker Carlson said on his Fox News show that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was going to take action that would require public school children to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDC responded to a tweet from Carlson to that effect, in essence fact checking the Fox News host. Mainstream media outlets like ABC News were quick to pounce on the “correction.”

The problem, however, is that Carlson was largely correct, and the CDC completely missed the point.

Here’s what happened: Tuesday night, Carlson said, “This week, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is expected to add the COVID-19 vax to the list of required childhood vaccines. If this happens, your children will not be able to attend school without taking the COVID shot.”

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The following day, the CDC jumped in, arguing against a claim that Carlson never made.

“Thursday, CDC’s independent advisory committee (ACIP) will vote on an updated childhood immunization schedule,” a taxpayer-funded social media intern at the CDC wrote. “States establish vaccine requirements for school children, not ACIP or CDC.”

OK, technically, I don’t know for certain that the tweet was written by a social media intern — but if it was written by an actual full-time employee, that makes the lack of critical thinking skills and/or the intentional deceit in this post even worse.

Predictably, the Fauci-worshiping leftists at ABC News, Forbes and The Washington Post jumped on board.

“CDC corrects conservative claim: They cannot mandate COVID vaccines in schools,” ABC wrote.

“False claim that CDC would require covid vaccines for kids goes viral,” whined The Washington Post.

“Tucker Carlson Incorrectly Claims CDC Mandating Kids Get Covid-19 Vaccine For School,” was Forbes’ take.

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They were all wrong. Every one of them.

Look again at what Carlson said. He never claimed that the CDC was going to mandate anything. He said that CDC would add the COVID vaccine to its list of recommended vaccines, and that action would result in mandating the vaccination.

That is true, and inarguably so.

Granted, the chyron under Carlson during the segment read, “CDC COULD MAKE COVID VAX  MANDATORY FOR KIDS,” but that still accurately describes the fact that CDC action will lead to a given result. If anyone bothers to read chyrons, they might have come away with a misunderstanding, but only if they didn’t listen to what Carlson actually said. Given the context, the ambiguity is understandable — it’s challenging to summarize an entire news segment in 44 characters.

One other caveat: Carlson said the CDC action would mean that “your children” would have to get the vaccine. That, of course, will depend on what state your children are in. But, certainly, he’s talking about the effect on millions of American schoolchildren. We’ll cut him a little slack for the sloppily hyperbolic wording. I mean, he didn’t carve out an exception for home-schooled kids, either, but I’m not going to fault him for that.

The CDC doesn’t issue the mandates, but states’ mandates ape the ACIP guidelines. Once the CDC adopts those guidelines, the COVID-19 vaccination will be mandated, even thought the CDC itself didn’t issue the mandate.

That’s what Carlson said would happen, and that’s what’s going to happen. Here are just a few examples:

The New York State Department of Health: “Children attending day care and pre-K through 12thgrade in New York State must receive all required doses of vaccines on the recommended schedule in order to attend or remain in school. … The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) establishes the recommended vaccine schedule and determines when vaccines are due.”

The Ohio Department of Health: “Vaccine doses should be administered according to the most recent version of the ‘Recommended Immunization Schedule for Persons Aged 0 through 18 Years’ or the ‘Catch-up Immunization Schedule for Persons Aged 4 Months Through 18 Years Who Start Late or Who Are More than 1 Month Behind,’ as published by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health: “Students attending ungraded school programs must comply in accordance with grade equivalent. Within the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations, vaccine doses given up to four days before minimum interval or age can be counted as valid.” (The Illinois guidelines refer to ACIP no fewer than five times.)

The California Department of Public Health actually provides for a little more leeway in its requirements, presumably because the left coasters want to reserve the right to implement requirements even stricter than the CDC’s: “Upon full approval by the FDA, CDPH will consider the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians prior to implementing a school vaccine requirement.”

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So, sure, the CDC doesn’t mandate school vaccines. They don’t have to. All they have to do is recommend, and the states take it from there. They must know that, mustn’t they?

Regardless, they certainly know — or should have known — what Carlson actually said, and what he didn’t say. Even if the CDC missed his nuance, you’d expect the professional journalists (yes, I rolled my eyes a little as I typed that) of ABC News, Forbes and The Washington Post to be a little more careful with the English language. But no.

I’d like to say that they obviously can’t read — but this was a video. Are they deaf, dumb and blind? Evidence suggests it may be so.

I hope they can at least play a mean game of pinball.

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George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.
George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.
Foxborough, Massachusetts
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B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG
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