Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is just asking questions.
Why are we vaccinating people so quickly? Does everyone really need it? Could this all be a leftist plot to take control?
In an interview first noticed by Forbes, Johnson told right-wing Wisconsin radio host Vicki McKenna on Thursday, “Why is this big push to make sure everybody gets a vaccine, to the point where you’re gonna impose it, you’re gonna shame people.”
“I see no reason to be pushing vaccines on people, and I certainly am going to vigorously resist any government use of vaccine passports,” Johnson added.
Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 in October, as Wisconsin faced a large outbreak. The senator later used that as a justification to avoid getting the vaccine, against CDC guidelines, telling a Wisconsin CBS affiliate that he had no plans to get the shot.
The vaccine skepticism expressed by Johnson puts him at odds with party leadership, but likely won’t come as a surprise to those who have followed the Wisconsin senator’s career. Johnson has used his platform to push COVID-19 pseudoscience, narratives that it was really “agents provocateurs” who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, and the words of a discredited former staffer at Ukraine’s embassy in Washington.
In a statement issued on Friday, Johnson doubled down on the remarks he made in the Thursday interview, framing it as an issue of “the right to gather information.”
But Johnson’s remarks to McKenna came as part of a larger conversation about alleged leftist plots to “take control,” be it via COVID-19, climate change, or convincing people to trust the government.
“You heard President Biden address the nation, begging Americans, please, trust the government, trust Dr. Fauci,” Johnson told McKenna. “Eh, sorry. I’ve got my doubts.”
The Wisconsin host replied: “Please trust the government? The guy can’t figure out what flavor of pudding he wants for lunch.”
She went on to ask the senator whether he believed that efforts to combat climate change would replace COVID-19 as “the next step to locking Americans down and controlling them in perpetuity.”
“That and the vaccine passports,” Johnson replied.
He added that the government “should have limited distribution” of the COVID-19 vaccine “to the vulnerable” because its not “fully approved.”
Johnson went on to say that he believes COVID-19 is a good enough pretext for the vast left-wing conspiracy to keep the country locked down.
“You’re talking about climate change as the next step — I don’t think they’re going to let go of COVID-19 anytime soon,” he added.
Johnson then doubled down on the idea that there is no reason to get vaccinated beyond protecting one’s own health. Studies show that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are 95 percent effective, Johnson said, “So if you have a vaccine, quite honestly what do you care if your neighbor has one or not? What is it to you?”
“I’m getting highly suspicious about whats happening here,” Johnson concluded.
McKenna then closed the segment, reiterating that “it’s about control and power,” before ending with: “Sen. Ron Johnson, I hope you have a wonderful Earth Day.”