"The messaging toward Evangelicals and Republicans," says McCain, "is, 'You dumb hillbillies, stay the hell away from me.'"
While Meghan McCain is fully vaccinated against Covid, she defended those in her party who still have hesitancy about getting their shots Monday on "The View."
Her comments came as the panel was discussing a New York Times report claiming the U.S. won't reach herd immunity anytime soon because of vaccine hesitancy and new variants of the virus.
Most of the blame for this was left at the feet of Republicans and evangelicals during the discussion, with Joy Behar calling them out for their own mixed messaging.
"Aren't these the same people who wanted to have herd immunity by opening up restaurants and having super spreaders? Aren't these the same people who won't take the vaccine, which would actually lead to herd immunity" she asked. "Are they waiting for divine intervention? If they are, I say unto them, we have it, it's called a vaccine!"
"This is just a vestige of the prior administration's politicization of the mask and of the vaccine," said Sunny Hostin when it was her time to talk. "The prior administration was an anti-science administration."
"When you look at the folks that are not getting vaccinated, white evangelicals 45% say they won't get vaccinated," she continued, citing a recent Pew Research study. "Republicans, almost 50% of Republicans are refusing to get the vaccine, so we won't reach herd immunity because of those particular groups. I say we need to shun those that refuse to get vaccinated."
She went on to praise places with a "No Mask, No Entry" policy and said those who don't get vaccinated have to pay the consequences. "You don't get those liberties that come with immunity," she added, "You don't get to infringe on the rights who have chosen to protect their fellow citizens."
McCain, per usual, took a very different stance -- and called out the "messaging" being aimed at Republicans who are still questioning the vaccine.
"The messaging toward evangelicals and Republicans is, 'You dumb hillbillies, stay the hell away from me,'" she claimed. "I don't think there's any way to convince anyone of anything if that's the messaging coming out of the White House."
After saying she had an idea of an ad campaign targeted at those groups -- one, she said, fell completely on "deaf ears," she called the current messaging "absolute garbage."
"It's a public health crisis, I agree, we should all get vaccinated. I myself am vaccinated, I have no problems with vaccines but the messaging is psychotic," she said, before wondering why people still have to wear masks after getting their shot.
"If the vaccine is 94% effective -- which we are told by science and the CDC and all smart people who come on the show it is -- if the vaccine works, why do we still have to wear masks outdoors? Why do we also have to wear masks inside?" she asked.
"That's also part of the messaging problem. If you get a vaccine and nothing in your life changes, and I still have to wear a mask everywhere ... then, I'm sorry, the way human nature works and human being works, is there has to be an impetus and a reason to get vaccinated to get what you want," she said. "I'm horrified by the way people are talking to Republicans right now in this way. I think we should try to lead people along instead of saying they're dumb morons in the middle of the country that are gonna kill everybody. it's just not effective."
Whoopi Goldberg responded by saying if everybody doesn't continue to wear a mask, the fight against Covid will continue to be "spotty" at best. "I'm not going outside until I know everybody outside has the shot," she added, "I'm gonna be wearing my mask probably into my 90s!"
The CDC, under its most recent guidelines, still recommends wearing a mask in public spaces, where "vaccination status of other people or whether they are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 is likely unknown."
The CDC also says "You can gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask except in certain crowded settings and venues" and adds it's okay to gather indoors without masks with those you know are fully vaccinated.