CNN's New Day opened this segment with a clip of West Virginia governor Jim Justice expressing his deep frustration with residents who refuse to get vaccinated. He said some of them were claiming the vaccines had tracking chips, "and they're carrying around their cell phones."
John Berman brought on Michael Smerconish and asked him what he thought.
"You know, we talk a lot in this country about the 1%ers. There's a great spread right now in the New York Post of all places about the 99%ers, drawing on the fact that according to CDC data, January through the end of August, 99% of all hospitalizations for covid-related illness, the unvaccinated. Those who are not fully vaccinated. Similarly, 99% of covid deaths, January through the end of August, all those unvaccinated.
"So, the time for cajoling, I think, is over," Smerconish said.
"We're no longer dealing with vaccine hesitant. I'm not going to say that anymore. It's the vaccine obstinate. We gotta draw a line in the sand. We have to force people to get vaccinated. One last thing if I may. This is happy and sad at the same time. I'm dying to show people my vax card. The only place I've been asked to show it was at a Dead & Company concert. In this cloud of lawlessness, we all knew we had to show our vax card to get into the show and we were fine with it."
"I just wonder what you think -- we had people on the show, Michael, we had the mom of a veteran whose son couldn't get into the ICU because of people with covid in the ICU and he died because of the delay in care. So I wonder what you make of this conversation about hospitals prioritizing vaccinated or unvaccinated people in a crisis of care situation," Keilar said.
Smerconish talked about giving priority to the vaccinated in hospitals, and also wondered why we weren't charging more for the insurance of people who wouldn't get the shot. (Answer: Because the ACA is set up not to discriminate.)
"These are people making a conscious decision not to get vaccinated, defying the science. I'm sorry, I'm tired of trying to coax them along. The time for coaxing is over. So, give me Governor Justice, give me Howard Stern, and give me Jimmy Kimmel," he said.
"Can you be specific about how you would stop coddling the unvaccinated? What you are supporting exactly?" Berman asked.
"Let's begin with President Biden and the speech he'll deliver today, because I think his is a half measure. I don't think he's done the full Monty in terms of saying to federal employees, you must be vaccinated. 'We'll contemplate a religious exemption,' by the way, that's a subject we ought to debate in the future because no major religion is at odds with the notion of vaccination," he said.
"I recognize some people for medical reasons can't get vaccinated. Okay. They should have a negative covid test. but law enforcement, if you're a police officer, like this union B.S. in some departments, standing up for cops who don't want to get -- screw that! If you're in the front line as an EMT, as a firefighter, as a cop, as a government employee anywhere, you're getting vaccinated."
He said his law firm requires vaccines to work there. "You guys know, CNN drawing a hard line as well, which I totally applaud. That's what's necessary. Forget trying to sell people because they don't want to be sold. It's like they're taking pride in the fact that they're saying 'screw you' to all of those of us who are vaccinated and are relying on the CDC guidance.
"So stop with the cajoling, already."