A CNN segment got heated on Thursday when anchor Don Lemon got into a verbal spat over the demographics of the unvaccinated population and vaccine mandates with former Republican governor of Ohio John Kasich as concerns rise over the emerging delta variant of the virus.
Lemon was hopeful that the delta variant news would scare hesitant people into getting vaccinated and pointed out that private companies have started mandating that their workforce receive the vaccine.
“Do you think mandates are the answer?” Lemon asked Kasich.
Kasich began explaining that “there’s only a limit of what Biden can do, celebrities can do.” In Ohio “people over the age of 65, 80 percent of them have vaccinations. Under 60, it’s 60 percent.” Young people are reportedly the ones resistant to getting the vaccine.
“They think that it’s not going to be that serious to them. I talk to them all the time. I try to encourage them to do it,” Kasich described the challenges of persuading young Americans to get vaccinated.
“Secondly, your people who live in a rural community. They live there. They don’t want somebody from the government trying to tell them what they do — what to do. And so, and you have the third group, which is the minority community, which really distrusts a lot of what’s happening in medicine today because, you know, they were — they were experimented upon, as you know, if you think about Tuskegee,” Kasich detailed before offering his solution. “So, the way to solve this in my opinion is grassroots.”
“I believe it’s a grassroots solution here. I believe that in the rural communities, it’s got to be farmer-to-farmer. It’s got to be what happens in the small towns. What happens in the taverns, with people talking to one another. With young people, that’s, you know, that’s grandma, grandpa, saying you can’t come see me if you don’t get vaccinated,” Kasich detailed. “And when it comes to, you know, the rest of the people, it has to be about a bottom-up. It has to be who you know that tells you to go and get this done. And in the minority community, I think it’s the church, it’s the community people who are respected.”
Lemon took issue with the answer which did not follow CNN’s narrative on vaccination and pressed harder, calling Kasich’s solution “utopian” and claiming the majority of the unvaccinated population is comprised of white conservatives.
“My question was, are vaccine mandates, is that what’s going to have to happen,” Lemon asked before showing his hand as he continued on. “That was — that’s a question in order to — because it would be great. Yes, it would be great if people would do that. But they’re not doing it… the majority of the people who are not getting vaccinated are conservative whites.”
The CNN anchor claimed specifically that, of the unvaccinated population, 37 percent “are conservative Republican whites”.
“Don, 40 percent — look, 40 percent of health care workers are not vaccinated. Forty percent of health care workers,” Kasich retorted while pointing out these workers are certainly not all Republicans.
“How do you know that, John?” Lemon fired back.
“Well, how do you know that people that in a rural community–what, you do polling?” Kasich demanded.
The back and forth continued as Lemon pursued his fishing expedition for an answer on mandatory vaccinations.
“Don, it’s not a simple yes or no. It’s appropriate in some places,” the former governor maintained as he tried to get a word in edgewise.
“People are speaking out of both sides of their mouths. And they should be more emphatic about what should be done,” Lemon said, exasperated as he compared not receiving the vaccine to driving 90 miles an hour through a school zone. He asserted that rural America “needs to abide by the rules just like anybody else.”
The former Ohio governor eventually caved to a persistent Lemon.
“There are appropriate places where we ought to tell people, if you want to be involved in this, if you want to work here, you’re going to get a vaccine or you’re going to get tested. And if you don’t do either of them, you’re out,” Kasich began, pointing to the strategy many in the private sector are already employing.
He acknowledged that “at some point, it’s going to move away from the testing into a mandated vaccine.”
“It’s serious. I agree with Don Lemon,” Kasich concluded.
To be clear, Lemon believes that unvaccinated Americans should be barred from participating in regular societal activities as a method of coercing them into taking the vaccine.
The former governor said later on in the segment that the fundamental problem when it comes to vaccine resistance is not that the vaccine is being weaponized “for political advantages,” saying, “the problem is deeper than that.”
Kasich believes it has to do with who people are and where they live.
“Finally, I wish Donald Trump would come out and tell everybody to get vaccinated. Would that change everything? I don’t think so,” he harped.
Some viewers took to Twitter to react to the segment:
Lemon clutching for some and any form of ratings increase and it’s not happening 😂
— Shaun Durandt™ (@Shaun_Durandt) July 31, 2021
Race coupon wild card never expires
— Bohdi (@jtbohdi) July 31, 2021
Don Lemon is wealthy for one reason…
That is it
He has zero talent
But he sure can shrill racism with the best of them at CNN
— Real Fake Outrage (@CondieShaun) July 31, 2021
Lemon 🍋and his fake news agenda
— Hala (@dearsham) July 31, 2021
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