Alex Berenson has been declared "the pandemic's wrongest man," and is currently suspended from Twitter for posting disinformation about the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. Sen. Ron Johnson, one of the Senate’s wrongest men, is going to bat for Berenson, calling him “a courageous voice of reason” and describing his Twitter suspension as censorship.
Berenson’s suspension was for falsely claiming that a study showed that the Pfizer vaccine does not prevent death. It absolutely does prevent both death and hospitalization, even against the delta variant. Berenson also, over the weekend, repeatedly tweeted comparisons of vaccination to the Holocaust. To Johnson, that’s apparently voice-of-reason material.
This isn’t some startling new move from Johnson, who was really excited about the coronavirus vaccines as long as he felt their existence was a good thing for Donald Trump, then started loudly spreading doubt about them once he felt that vaccination might do good things for the country under President Biden. Johnson has also buddied up to notorious anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Kennedy spoke at a rally attended by Nazis. Here’s Berenson:
The Auschwitz Memorial responded to Berenson, tweeting “It's painful to the memory of Auschwitz and its victims to see this symbol abused and violated. ‘Arbeit macht frei’ became one of the icons of human hatred. Using it in a debate about vaccines that save human lives is a sad symptom of moral and intelectual decline.”
Two days after the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum felt the need to rebuke Berenson, Johnson—who is, it cannot be emphasized enough, a sitting U.S. senator—called Berenson a courageous voice of reason who had been unfairly censored. Sit with that a minute.
When we get angry at regular Republican voters who are refusing to be vaccinated, endangering everyone around them, it’s important to remember that that didn’t just happen. It happened because of grifters like Berenson and politicians like Johnson, who saw partisan advantage in a vaccine culture war. Ron Johnson is actively trying to get people killed because he thinks it’s better for the Republican Party in 2022 and 2024. And not only does he remain a Republican senator in good standing with his party, his party will go to the mat to get him reelected in 2022.