Obligatory: Neil Cavuto reads hate mail after asking Fox viewers to get vaccinated

Is there any host on cable news, on either side, who laughs at themselves as easily as Cauvto does? He does these hate-mail follow-up segments every time he says something on the air which he knows will piss off Fox viewers and seems to sincerely delight in them. It’s one of his most appealing traits. An unwritten rule in American politics in 2021 is that if you’re only allowed to laugh at the enemy, not at your own side.


And certainly not at yourself. The point of partisan media is to score points in the culture war on the other team, not own-goals. One must never show weakness in the form of self-deprecation or … basic relatable humanity, really.

I guess when you’ve survived open-heart surgery and cancer and multiple sclerosis and now COVID, you appreciate life too much to take yourself too seriously.

Today was his first day back on the job after being infected. He made waves on Sunday when he pleaded with Fox viewers to get vaccinated, citing his own mild case as an immunocompromised person as strong evidence that the shots are a lifesaver. His problem in trying to convert the holdouts is that they’re drowning in conflicting information, and not all of that conflicting information comes from dubious sources. Reading through this data from the new Axios-Ipsos poll, I groaned at how counterproductive some of the CDC’s COVID messaging has been:

Large shares of Americans are still in the dark about the basic science around transmission and intensity of illness for the vaccinated versus unvaccinated, the survey shows.

Only two-thirds know the vaccine is effective in preventing serious illness among people with “breakthrough” cases.

Six in 10 Americans either incorrectly believe that unvaccinated people and vaccinated people are equally likely to test positive for the virus, or said they don’t know.

Four in 10 either don’t believe or don’t know that unvaccinated people are at least 10 times more likely to die of COVID-19.


The CDC announced in May that vaccinated people didn’t need to mask anymore, then walked that back in July when a study from Provincetown showed that the vaccinated were capable of infecting each other post-Delta. The average person who doesn’t have time to follow the news closely and who was already hesitant about vaccination may have looked at that and come away believing, incorrectly, that the vaccines don’t do much to reduce transmission. (A claim promoted by the likes of Ron DeSantis for selfish political reasons.) On the other hand, scientists have spent the past three months stressing at every opportunity that the great majority of people still dying of the disease are unvaccinated. For someone to tune that message out, they must be heavily invested in believing otherwise.

Which means, due to confusion or motivated reasoning, heartfelt pleas like Cavuto’s are destined to fall on deaf ears. And if pleading with people won’t encourage holdouts to get vaccinated, the only alternative is mandates.

Tyson Foods slapped a mandate on their work force of 120,000 people back in August, long before Biden issued a federal version. The degree of compliance they’ve seen is spectacular.

Nearly three months after Tyson Foods mandated coronavirus vaccines for all its 120,000 U.S. workers, more than 96 percent of them are vaccinated, the company’s chief executive, Donnie King, said in an employee memo on Tuesday.

Less than half of Tyson’s work force was inoculated when it announced on Aug. 3 that it would require vaccines. Nearly 60,000 more Tyson employees got the shot following the announcement, Mr. King said. Tyson has said workers must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1 as a condition of employment…

“Has this made a difference in the health and safety of our team members? Absolutely,” Mr. King wrote of the vaccine requirement. “We’ve seen a significant decline in the number of active cases, companywide.”


Meatpacking is especially risky with respect to COVID because the workers operate in close quarters throughout the day, a reality that led to some major outbreaks and plants having to close temporarily early in the pandemic. That was one incentive for workers to take the plunge once the mandate was imposed, to avert future work stoppages. It may be that lower-skilled jobs like meatpacking are also destined to see higher levels of compliance with mandates since workers may not have an easy time finding new work if they quit in protest.

Whatever the answer, having the vaccination rate double following the mandate is a bananas result. And one that’ll inevitably save some workers’ lives.

Exit quotation from former Fox host and current Newsmax host Eric Bolling, who watched Cavuto’s pro-vax plea on Sunday and found it hard to square with other Fox programming: “Think about what Fox is doing, though. It’s brilliant. Everything they truly believe is aired in the middle of the day when everyone’s at work. Then people get home from work and watch evening commentary hosts say the complete opposite of what they reported just hours prior.”

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David Strom 4:30 PM | May 28, 2024