Charlie Kirk Says People on Right Promoting Vaccines Are 'Virtue Signaling'

Controversial conservative commentator Charlie Kirk attacked center-right figures for "virtue signaling" after they issued pleas to Americans to get vaccinated.

Appearing on Wednesday's edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight, Kirk, a Newsweek columnist, spoke about receiving an email meant to be shared internally within the CNN staff circle.

The alleged forwarded email referred to a report about unvaccinated Americans with one CNN employee apparently responding that people needed a "stick" rather than a "carrot" to get them jabbed against COVID-19.

Carlson then said a CNN spokesperson had suggested it was the network's mission to play a role in getting Americans vaccinated.

But, Kirk first hit out against center-right figures for "virtue signaling," an act of publicly expressing an opinion in order to demonstrate moral values, by encouraging people across the country to get vaccinated before going on to attack CNN.

Kirk said: "That's exactly right, the other question is why all of a sudden in the last 48 hours has there been this almost coordinated effort by people on the establishment center-right kind of virtue signaling, telling every single person to get vaccinated while we're starting to see this disturbing increase in activity on the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) database."

CNN shared a full copy of the email sent to Fox News with Newsweek, which read: "This is a silly inquiry about a common American metaphor.

"The email, mistakenly sent to Kirk, was simply acknowledging that current vaccination incentives are losing steam, in large part due to misinformation efforts of which your program [Tucker Carlson Tonight] s surely familiar.

"Therefore businesses, schools, employers and other institutions may need to develop regular testing or vaccination requirements in order to encourage people to get vaccinated and create safe environments."

Kirk's comment about center-right figures "virtue signaling" comes after senior conservatives encouraged Americans to get vaccinated.

Among them, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged unvaccinated Americans to get jabbed against COVID-19 as the Delta variant sparked a sharp increase in cases across the country.

Carlson's own Fox News saw host Sean Hannity tell viewers to get vaccinated during a segment of his Monday night show.

Turning Point USA. founder Kirk has also previously railed against VAERS earlier in July month when he talked about people who had allegedly died after receiving the vaccine.

The VAERS database is a national early warning system that aims to detect possible issues with vaccines licensed in the U.S. Anyone can report adverse effects, while healthcare professionals are required to report certain issues.

During an episode of his podcast, Kirk said: "If VAERS is off by 99 percent, that would mean 1.2 million people died after getting the vaccine."

He later added: "If VAERS is only calculating 10 percent, that means 123,000 people died."

Sensationally, Kirk added: "I'm not saying that's true, I'm saying that according to how we calculate VAERS, the independent study that was administered, this could be true."

According to the CDC, reports of deaths after COVID-19 vaccination are rare. It added: "More than 339 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through July 19, 2021.

"During this time, VAERS received 6,207 reports of death (0.0018 [percent]) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.

"FDA requires healthcare providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS, even if it's unclear whether the vaccine was the cause."

Newsweek has contacted Kirk's representative for comment.

Charlie Kirk
Charlie Kirk speaks onstage at Politicon 2018 at Los Angeles Convention Center on October 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Kirk said those asking Americans to get vaccinated were "virtue signaling." Michael S. Schwartz/Getty