Tucker Carlson warns Pentagon's vaccine mandate is attempt to weed out "men with high testosterone"

Fox News host also claimed that the rule was anti-Christian, saying that the military is "doing PR for Satanists"

By Jon Skolnik

Staff Writer

Published September 21, 2021 11:41AM (EDT)

Joe Biden, Tucker Carlson and the COVID-19 Vaccine (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Joe Biden, Tucker Carlson and the COVID-19 Vaccine (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

Fox News host Tucker Carlson, now the channel's most vocal vaccine skeptic, made a number of baseless remarks about the vaccine on Monday, claiming that the Pentagon's recent vaccination mandate was an effort to weed out Christians and "men with high testosterone" from the military. 

"This was specifically designed to separate the obedient from the free," Carlson said during a broadcast. "Can't have any of the latter category."

"The point of mandatory vaccination is to identify the sincere Christians in the ranks, the freethinkers, the men with high testosterone levels and anyone else who doesn't love Joe Biden and make them leave immediately," he added. 

Carlson further compared the military's suicide death toll to that of COVID-19's, saying that suicide has killed "many, many times more [than latter]."

"In just a few months last year," he said, "156 service members killed themselves. So military suicide is an actual crisis the Pentagon might want to address."

Later, the host pointed to an internal PowerPoint presentation the military apparently used to combat vaccine skepticism. One of the slides sarcastically asked: "How many children were sacrificed to Satan because of the vaccine?"

Thinking the question is somehow anti-Christian, Carlson argued: "The presentation proceeds to list the so-called tenets of Satanism which are taken from the Temple of Satanism website. So here you have the United States Army doing PR for Satanists."

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There is little to no evidence that vaccines are unsafe for use. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), 7,653 have died following vaccination between mid-December 2020 and mid-September 2021. This accounts for roughly 0.002% of vaccinated Americans, according to The Independent.

"Reports of adverse events to VAERS following vaccination, including deaths, do not necessarily mean that a vaccine caused a health problem," the CDC explained. 

Regardless, Carlson and other Fox News personalities have continued to rail against the mask and vaccine mandates, even when the channel has itself implemented internal policies apparently aimed at mitigating COVID-19 exposure. 

Back in August, Fox issued a directive asking employees to identify whether they are vaccinated "for space planning and contact tracing purposes in conjunction with DCD/state city health and safety guidelines. Fox Corp. has meanwhile said that over 90 percent of its staff are vaccinated, according to The Daily Beast, and requires unvaccinated employees to undergo regular testing. 

By Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, and The New York Daily News.

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