Over the past year, Christian evangelist Franklin Graham has been one of many right-wing voices spreading misinformation about COVID.
He claimed last year that COVID existed only because “Man has turned his back on God.” He trashed Dr. Anthony Fauci for suggesting we needed to follow the science. He ignored over 160,000 Trump-fueled COVID deaths while criticizing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for not being “pro-life.”
And yet this morning, he finally said something mildly sensible. Graham stated that he had been vaccinated and he urged others to follow his lead:
… I have been asked my opinion about the vaccine by the media and others. I have even been asked if Jesus were physically walking on earth now, would He be an advocate for vaccines. My answer was that based on the parable of the Good Samaritan in the Bible, I would have to say — yes, I think Jesus Christ would advocate for people using vaccines and medicines to treat suffering and save lives…
… Vaccines have worked for polio, smallpox, measles, the flu and so many other deadly illnesses — why not for this virus? Since there are different vaccines available, my recommendation is that people do their research, talk to their doctor, and pray about it to determine which vaccine, if any, is right for them. My wife and I have both had the vaccine; and at 68 years old, I want to get as many more miles out of these old bones as possible!
There’s a lot of problems with that statement, including the idea that the vaccine is only worth taking because Jesus would supposedly have done it as well as the bizarre notion that people — right now! — get to pick and choose which vaccine to take.
But still, the gist of it is that Graham is encouraging Christians to get vaccinated. That is a net positive, given that white evangelicals are the least likely religious demographic to say they’ll get their shots.
And wouldn’t you know it, the Christian Nationalist base he’s built up on Facebook is furious that their leader sided with the scientists.
Those people are batshit insane, scientifically inaccurate, and clearly unaware of how the vaccines were developed. They’re the reason the pandemic has lasted as long as it has.
It’s amazing that the one time Graham makes a sensible comment, they can’t handle it. But what did Graham expect? He’s spent years spreading baseless lies about basic truths. Naturally, the one time his views align with the scientific consensus, his gullible followers don’t know what to make of it. They’ve been trained to reject reason and common sense. They’re doing exactly what he trained them to do.
The creator of the monster has lost control of the monster.