Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones issued a “warning” to former President Donald Trump, calling him either “ignorant” or “evil” for encouraging people to take the coronavirus vaccine.
The infamous extremist talking head made the comments during his InfoWars show on 25 December.
“This is an emergency Christmas Day warning to President Trump. You are either completely ignorant about the so called ‘vaccine’ gene therapy that you helped ram through with operation warp speed, or you are one of the most evil men who has ever lived,” Mr Jones said.
In the past, Mr Jones has been a staunch — but not unquestioning — supporter of Mr Trump. Mr Jones allegedly helped secure funding for the “Stop the Steal” Rally that eventually mutated into the January 6 Capitol riot.
The conspiracy theorist’s change of tune apparently was driven by recent statements Mr Trump made praising the coronavirus vaccine and encouraging conservatives not only to take the shot, but to celebrate it and see it as a conservative victory.
“What you told Candace Owens is nothing but a raft of dirty lies,” Mr Jones said on his show.
Mr Jones was referencing Mr Trump’s interview with right wing provocateur Ms Owens. During the talk, Ms Owens — an anti-vaxxer — attempted to insinuate that the coronavirus vaccines do not work because more people have died from Covid-19 since Joe Biden took office and since the vaccines became available.
Mr Trump cut her off and immediately derailed her argument, insisting that the vaccines did work, and that the people who were becoming ill and dying were unvaccinated.
“Oh no, the vaccines work, but… the ones who get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don’t take the vaccine. But it’s still their choice. And if you take the vaccine, you’re protected,” Mr Trump said. “Look, the results of the vaccine are very good, and if you do get it, it’s a very minor form. People aren’t dying when they take the vaccine.”
Mr Trump has long been a proponent of the vaccine, and sees it as a crowning achievement of his administration. During a speaking tour earlier this month, Mr Trump encouraged the overwhelmingly conservative audience to be proud of the vaccine.
“I think this would have been the Spanish Flu of 1917,” Mr Trump told the crowd, who booed him upon learning he had taken a booster shot. “This was going to ravage the country, far beyond what it is right now. Take credit for it.”
Ms Owens suggested that Mr Trump — who regularly had access to briefings detailing findings from top scientists responding to the pandemic — was only pro-vaccine because he was “too old” to find the same obscure websites she uses for her “independent research.”
“People oftentimes forget that, like, how old Trump is,” she said. “He comes from a generation—I’ve seen other people that are older have the exact same perspective, like, they came from a time before TV, before internet, before being able to conduct their independent research. And everything that they read in a newspaper that was pitched to them, they believed that that was a reality.”
Despite Ms Owen’s best efforts to ease the cognitive dissonance her viewers experienced due to Mr Trump’s vaccine support, the real explanation for the former president’s position likely has nothing to do with his age and everything to do with his pride.
Following the speaking tour where Mr Trump acknowledged that he had taken a booster shot, The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman asked the former president’s team why he wasn’t playing ball with the broader GOP’s anti-vaxx talking points. She was handed a hand-written note bearing the former president’s signature.
“Must tell the truth — and very proud to have produced the 3 vaccines so quickly,” the note said. “Millions of lives saved worldwide. Best wishes Donald.”