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The dangerously misinformed anti-vaxxer push, sadly still a presence in the 2020 pandemic era, has claimed another public figure.
On Sunday, NLE Choppa recklessly urged his fans to "stay away from the vaccines." The tweet, of course, comes just as the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine candidate was given the final go-ahead by the CDC and the FDA.
Earlier this month, Choppa—again sowing confusion among his fans—shared an extended note in which he criticized modern medicine and falsely claimed that "any disease" can be healed from using, among other things, "vibration/energy exercises." The From Dark to Light artist also purported that, for reasons not clear, a "false report on alien invasion" was imminent.
With the total number of CDC-confirmed COVID-19 deaths soon set to surpass 300,000 (with no signs of slowing down), Monday's kickoff of the first wave of vaccine distribution marked a more-than-welcome respite from the overwhelming barrage of bad news that's come to define 2020.
"This is the light at the end of the tunnel," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday. "But it's a long tunnel." During a news conference with Cuomo on Monday, Sandra Lindsay—an ICU nurse in Queens—was announced as likely the first person to be given a vaccine in the U.S. aside from trial participants.
In a recent interview with the Daily Beast, Dr. Anthony Fauci—the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases—revealed that his "primary biggest fear" regarding vaccines is that misinformation (like, for example, the kind cited by NLE Choppa) could ultimately inspire a troubling amount of people to miss out.
"I think there are going to be many people who don't want to get vaccinated right away," Dr. Fauci added. "But once you get, you know, tens of millions of people vaccinated, it looks like it's working and it's safe, then I think we'll win over a large proportion of the rest of the population, who might have some hesitancy about getting vaccinated."
With all this in mind, here's an excerpt from the fully earned criticism Choppa has gotten after sharing a number of anti-vaxxer messages and troubling conspiracist takes:
For more on what to expect with the COVID-19 vaccine, which has been shown to be safe, click here.