BIDEN OFFERS INCENTIVES FOR UNVACCINATED: After Pres. Biden rolled out a wide variety of incentives to get COVID-19 shots in arms to hit the 70% mark by the 4th of July, the co-hosts react and discuss the different incentives throughout the country. http://abcn.ws/3uO59xE
With states trying everything from free sports tickets to college scholarships to boost vaccination numbers, West Virginia is standing out for offering its vaccinated residents the chance to win hunting shotguns, an incentive Joy Behar openly criticized on this morning’s episode of The View. During a discussion about the ethics of offering prizes in exchange for vaccines, Behar ripped West Virginia’s lottery program for giving people the chance to win weapons.
“The thing about the gun that’s fascinating is like, so take a bunch of people who are paranoid already, because they’re afraid of the vaccination, many of them are delusional believing that Trump won the election, and let us put a gun in their hands,” Behar said.
She added sarcastically, “What a brilliant idea! How did anybody not think of that before? And if that doesn’t work, how about an AR-15? Maybe we can get them a Sherman tank to run through the neighborhood,” before closing out her comments with a more somber tone. “I mean, it’s one thing to say I’m going to give you a college education. It’s another to say, I’m going to hand you a weapon,” she said.
Under West Virginia’s vaccine incentive program, residents are eligible to win a number of prizes if they get a COVID-19 vaccine. According to NPR, the state is advertising a lottery featuring “a college scholarship, a tricked-out truck, or hunting rifles, in addition to a $1.588 million grand prize.”
Gov. Jim Justice announced the new prizes on Tuesday. “The faster we get people across the finish line the more lives we save. That’s all there is to it,” he said. “If the tab just keeps running the cost is enormous. The hospitalizations are enormous. We have to get all of our folks across the finish line.”
In response to Behar’s comments, co-host Sunny Hostin shifted the focus back to “getting this pandemic under control,” explaining, “the way you do that is getting shots in arms.” She added, “It’s really disturbing to me that we haven’t been able to reach this herd immunity that we’ve all been talking about … but if this is what it takes for us to be able to live some sort of normalcy, then I guess this is what it takes.”
After listing off the prizes in West Virginia’s incentive lottery, Hostin specifically named the “hunting rifles and five custom hunting shotguns” being advertised. “Does that make sense to me? No, but I’m not from West Virginia,” she said. “Maybe that is a draw in West Virginia, and if that’s the draw that people need, so be it. But again, I don’t understand why you would need that sort of incentive to save your life or the lives of your loved ones.”
The View airs weekdays at 11/10c on ABC. Watch this morning’s discussion on vaccine incentives in the video above.