Fox News host Tucker Carlson has attacked a non-binary Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) epidemiologist, claiming they are a “left-wing activist” rather than a scientist.
Carlson recently described the CDC’s initial decision to distribute the vaccine to frontline essential workers before the elderly as “eugenics”, because people of colour have greater representation among essential workers.
In an episode of his Fox News show Tucker Carlson Tonight on Tuesday (22 December), the anti-LGBT+ anchor said that epidemiologist Jo Walker, who contributed to the report recommending the order of priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccine, was “not a disinterested scientist” but “a left-wing activist”.
According to Metro Weekly, Carlson misgendered Walker throughout the segment, despite attacking them for being non-binary and using they/them pronouns.
He said: “[They] describe [themselves] as ‘non-binary’. [They] are barely in [their] 20s… [They] proudly displays a transgender flag in [their] Twitter account.
“[They] tells you that [their] preferred pronouns are they and them.”
He said that Walker “appears to be American”, and was outraged that they described the USA as “occupied land”.
Carlson added: “So there you go. Man of science or political activist? We’ll let you answer the question.”
I don’t like @TuckerCarlson. At all. Not because I disagree with his political ideology or where he stands on policy, but because he’s a bully. He personally attacks private citizens in front of millions of people. Attacking for identifying as non-binary on their Twitter account. pic.twitter.com/madgQwlpCs
— Americans for Hope 🇺🇸 (@americans4hope) December 26, 2020
@jo_walker_atl seems to have deactivated their account following the backlash and harassment they got.
— Arvind Raj 💛🌈 🏳️🌈 🇲🇾 🚹 💛 (@Azariaen) December 23, 2020
After the segment, Walker received so much “backlash and harassment” online that they were forced to deactivate their Twitter account.
One Twitter user described Carlson as a “bully” while another said he “drove a young person off of Twitter by falsely slandering them for daring to have perfectly defensible positions”.
Earlier this month, the Trump-loving Fox News host described an HBO documentary featuring young trans children as “so disturbing it would have qualified as a crime not so long ago”.
Carlson claimed: “Across the country, many small children are being given puberty blockers and irreversibly damaging their bodies.
“Of course some of them later regret it. It’s grotesque. If you say that out loud, you’re punished. Target will ban your book. You’ll have trouble getting a job.
“This isn’t just one parent abusing a child on TV, this is a nationwide epidemic.”