Entertainment And News

5 Theories Why Sean Hannity Came Out In Favor Of Vaccines After Months Of Downplaying Coronavirus

Photo: YouTube / Fox
Sean Hannity

Fox News appears to be changing its stance on vaccinations as Sean Hannity urged viewers to, “Please take COVID seriously.”

Over a year into pandemic restrictions, mask mandates and discussions around vaccine efficacy, the controversial host may be wavering on his approach to vaccines.

While he did advise viewers to make their own decisions with the help of medical advisors, Hannity stated, “It absolutely makes sense for many Americans to get vaccinated. I believe in science, I believe in the science of vaccination."

This comes after Hannity previously labeled the pandemic a hoax. Hannity joins Fox hosts Steve Doocy and Bill Hemmer who have both spoken positively of vaccines.

Fox has been widely criticized for casting doubt on the severity of the pandemic and the effectiveness of vaccines — so what made Hannity come out in favor of vaccines? 

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Here are 5 theories as to why Sean Hannity is promoting vaccines.

1. Is Fox afraid of getting sued for their anti-vax segments? 

Hannity’s take on vaccines comes in the midst of Tucker Carlson’s incessant scare-mongering about the jab. 

As several publications have criticized Carlson and Fox’s anti-vax rhetoric and their direct disobedience of public health advice, some speculated that the network might be fearful of potential class-action lawsuits.

The virus and its variants continue to claim American lives, leaving the network somewhat vulnerable if they keep espousing dangerous misinformation to their viewers.

2. Fox ratings are dropping. 

Though Fox hasn’t hesitated to mock other networks for their loss of ratings, the channel has suffered significant rating drops over the past year.

Figures from January 2021 show a 20 percent drop over ratings from the previous year. May saw a 37 percent drop in comparison to 2020 figures.

This is possibly because of Fox’s controversial take on vaccines, pushing the network to change its stance. 

Though, crude as it may seems, loss of lives to COVID has meant a loss of ratings for all networks and — with new reports suggesting that COVID deaths are from unvaccinated people — right-wing media may need to push viewers to get their shot if they want to retain ratings.

3. Fox has allegedly been encouraging employees to get vaccinated.

Hannity’s words might be straight from the mouth of his employer as reports claim Fox has implemented its own version of vaccine passports amongst its workers.

The network allegedly sent around an email providing employees with details of how to self-report their vaccine status.

Those who have been vaccinated can, reportedly, bypass health screenings, though it is unclear if Fox plans to require vaccines in the future.

Is it possible Hannity and Fox are finally ending their hypocritical approach to coronavirus?

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4. Is Hannity worried about the impact of COVID on the stock market?

Hannity’s fears about unvaccinated viewers could be purely economic. In the earliest months of the pandemic, the stock market took quite a hit.

This week, amid growing fears about the widespread Delta variant, the market has plunged yet again. The spread of the virus may pose an economic risk to Hannity and Fox.

5. Is Hannity finally becoming a responsible citizen?

Theories aside, it’s also possible that Hannity has simply grown a conscience over the past couple of months.

The pandemic has claimed nearly 609,000 lives in the U.S., and though Hannity’s comments may be too little too late, we can only hope that some of his viewers will take stock of his words.

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her Twitter for more.