Chris Hayes Brands Donald Trump, Tucker Carlson 'Cowards' Over Vaccine Stances

MSNBC host Chris Hayes criticized former President Donald Trump and Fox News prime time personality Tucker Carlson on Thursday for not doing more to promote COVID-19 vaccines.

The host of All In With Chris Hayes shared footage from Fox News' flagship morning show Fox & Friends, where a panel criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci's comments on Wednesday.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had told Hayes people needed to "get over this political statement" and get vaccinated.

Hayes said Trump should be holding rallies to support vaccinations, while his supporters could argue that he was responsible for creating the vaccine in the first place.

Hayes pointed to a tweet from RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel about Operation Warp Speed—the Trump administration's effort to accelerate the development a vaccine—and suggested Republicans should be focusing on that.

Hayes said: "We continue to see this very worrying, dangerous trend of the right-wing media, you saw some of it there, people in the most conservative parts of the country turning against the vaccine."

"And the leaders of this movement are cowardly," he said.

"They refuse to have the courage of their convictions. They will not come out and say they are against the vaccine. Instead, they take this straw-man stance, saying they're just against anyone trying to promote the vaccine, or, heaven forbid, mandate it."

Hayes took aim at Trump for not promoting vaccinations more enthusiastically.

"The exiled former president has occasionally, half-heartedly made that argument, telling the crowd at CPAC in February, quote, 'Everybody go get your shot.' But he's not really leaning into it," Hayes said.

"At the end of the day, he's just as scared of the anti-vaxxers in the base as the rest of his party, the rest of the conservative movement," he said.

Hayes also mentioned Carlson, who has raised questions about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, and subsequently faced criticism for his comments on the matter.

"All of them, from Donald Trump to Tucker Carlson, are cowards when it comes down to it," Hayes said. "They're just chasing after the base. They're not leading. They're not telling them things they don't want to hear."

"They should be telling everyone that the vaccines were the greatest achievement of the Trump presidency," he said. "And you know what, that would be closer to being true than 95 percent of the things Donald Trump says."

"They should be hosting MAGA rallies with mass vaccinations and a free hat with a shot."

"They could do that if they wanted to. They could do it tomorrow. Instead they chose the path of least resistance. They chose to play into the paranoia and the opposition, the nihilism that is increasingly the beating heart of this political movement," he said.

Newsweek has asked Fox News and former President Trump's office for comment.

Chris Hayes Speaks in New York
Emmy-winning "All In" host Chris Hayes stops by AOL BUILD at AOL HQ on November 1, 2016 in New York City. Hayes has said former President Trump is a "coward" for not doing more to promote COVID-19 vaccines. Getty Images/Slaven Vlasic/