Evangelist Franklin Graham, who routinely trashes pro-science Democrats after years of propping up the Trump administration’s lies, is somehow one of the more sensible voices when it comes to vaccinations.
… I want people to know that God loves them. He will forgive you, and God will accept you into his presence. I want people to know that COVID-19 can kill you. But we have a vaccine out there that could possibly save your life. And if you wait, it could be too late.
It’s not exactly an effusive endorsement with that “possibly” qualifier — the vaccine definitely saves lives — but it’s an endorsement nonetheless. The sad thing is that Graham’s support could actually move the needle among white evangelicals, who are among the most hesitant people in the country when it comes to defeating the virus by getting their shots.
Before you give Graham total praise, though, remember that he claimed last year that COVID existed only because “Man has turned his back on God.” He also 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” enough. Even when his ministry set up a tent to help COVID patients in New York City, it was under rules that banned Jews and Muslims and atheists from serving as volunteers and required all helpers to oppose LGBTQ rights.
So while he hasn’t denied the seriousness of COVID, he did as much as anyone to hurt the credibility of those trying to save lives.
He’s not the hero anyone needs. But when you’re trying to reach a right-wing anti-science crowd, the most powerful way to do it may be getting one of their most prominent members to repeat everything in their language. So in that regard, good on him for urging vaccinations.