January 3, 2022

Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen on Monday lashed out at Merriam-Webster after the dictionary company updated the definition of "anti-vaxxer."

A spokesperson for Merriam-Webster told USA Today that one word was changed to clarify that anti-vaxxers oppose "regulations" mandating vaccines as well as "laws."

"The reason for the change from 'laws' to 'regulations' is that overwhelming citational evidence shows that this term is used regarding vaccine policies for school districts, restaurants, concert venues and bars, and that many of these policies are not laws,", Merriam-Webster Editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski explained.

Fox News host Dana Perino asked Thiessen about the changes during an interview on Fox News.

“There is a new definition in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary," Perino said. "This is not a joke, folks. a change of the definition of an anti-vaxxer to a person who opposes the use of vaccines or regulations mandating vaccinations. You are a wordsmith. I know that having worked with you in the past. This makes no sense.”

“No, it doesn’t," Thiessen agreed. "Who appointed Merriam-Webster? I didn’t realize they were public health experts to decide what is the definition of an anti-vaxxer.”

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