The Special Editorial Advisor to the CEO of Univision has once again presented a furthest-fringe personal opinion as news. This time, Jorge Ramos elevated vaccine skepticism to “Big Lie” status and suggested that vaccine skeptics are a danger to democracy.
Watch as Ramos tried to create this new “big Lie” out of whole cloth:
Are you worried that among conservatives, among whom of course there are many Latinos, there may be a dual trend? First, to say that vaccines don’t work. And second, to believe “The Big Lie” -- that Donald Trump won the last presidential election and not Joe Biden. These two trends, these two big lies- are they- are they endangering democracy in this country?
There is a fair amount of dangerous disinformation to unpack here. First, vaccine skepticism is not the exclusive province of conservatives. Univision viewers may not be aware of this because the network has memory-holed the role of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in sowing early distrust in vaccines. As much as Ramos would like to pin vaccine skepticism solely on conservatives, this is simply not true.
But of greater concern was Ramos’s elevation of vaccine skepticism to “Big Lie” status. Reasonable people can have a discussion about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, but I suspect that Ramos isn’t just talking about that. I suspect that Ramos has adopted the Merriam-Webster definition of “anti-vaxxer” and has used vaccine skepticism as a handy euphemism for broader opposition to onerous COVID-19 mitigation measures such as: masking requirements for children in schools, private-sector vaccine mandates via OSHA rule, and vaccine passports as required in places like New York.
Does Ramos believe that Congress needs to convene a special commission to investigate vaccine skeptics or mandate dissidents? Does the Department of Justice need to set up a counterterror division devoted to the investigation of parents opposed to mask mandates for kids in schools? His “Big Lie” language, at a bare minimum, would suggest so.
By fully embracing the biomedical surveillance state and declaring dissidents to be a threat to democracy (albeit within the framing of a question), Ramos has forever abdicated his role as a journalist “just asking questions” who stands opposite to power. The declaration of vaccine skeptics as a danger to democracy places Ramos in square alignment with power, and not at all opposite.
Exit question: Given Ramos’ role as Special Editorial Advisor to the CEO of Univision is this also the network’s official editorial position?
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