For a sign of just how severely Trump wrong-footed himself with his base by endorsing boosters, look no further than the editorial cartoonist Ben Garrison. The doodler’s devotion to the 45th president has been slavish, but Garrison’s opposition to the vaccine has also been stalwart. His latest cartoon opus shows Trump riding aboard on the “Big Pharma Vaccine Bandwagon” as he’s booed by the MAGA-hatted masses.
On the social media app Telegram, Ron Watkins — whom many believe role-played “Q” in the QAnon conspiracy that held up Trump as America’s heaven-sent savior in the battle against satanic Democrats — sent out a message on the day of Trump’s comments. Watkins blasted “the insidious global campaign to use poisonous injections to ‘save’ every living man woman, woman [and] child.” Watkins didn’t respond to Trump directly, but later urged the “VF” (or Vaccine Free community) to “stand strong,” “never fear,” and “never comply.” Two days later, Watkins was back to unvarnished anti-vax hysteria blasting jabs and boosters as “Subscription Suicide Shots.”
Lin Wood, the high-profile, right-wing attorney who was a central player in the farcical legal campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 election, also took to Telegram after Trump spoke. Wood, who has touted the QAnon worldview and calls himself a “public advocate against” covid jabs, told his followers to hold their fire on Trump for “recommending the ‘vaccine’.” Wood called covid “a planned bioweapon” and cautioned patience: “I believe We The People should wait until ALL the facts are known before passing judgment on the President’s wartime strategy and the tactics designed to achieve victory.” (Wood’s appeal for patience fits a pattern. Anons have long overlooked facts that didn’t fit their worldview with calls to trust a long term “plan,” whose logic cannot always be discerned in the moment.) Later Wood took to Telegram, decrying his trolls: “Looks like I stirred up a hornet’s nest… Hornets must not like the TRUTH!!!” He again defended Trump: “You don’t have to agree with every statement President Trump makes or position he takes…. Judge the entire body of President Trump’s world as president… He loves America, freedom, and We the People.”
To the true MAGA asshole, showing any belief in the value of human life for any reason is a deal-breaker, I’m afraid.