CNN host Don Lemon rarely utters a widely held opinion, but he spoke for the majority of Americans on Monday night when he pleaded with his mother to “believe in the science” of vaccinations — and please come visit him.
He also asked any jittery liberals who had been fully vaccinated but still feel uneasy about mingling in society without a mask to place as much faith in “the science and the scientists now, on this side of the pandemic,” as they did at the outset when they began socially distancing. Lemon revealed that he does not feel that he has to wear a mask around those whom he knows have been fully vaccinated.
Lemon’s comments came during the hand-off of his show to fellow CNN host Chris Cuomo at 10 p.m. Monday night.
“I’m kind of jealous you’ve got to spend [Mother’s Day] with your mom,” Lemon told Cuomo, “Because I would love to spend it with my mom. But my mom won’t leave [her home].”
“She is fully vaccinated, Chris,” Lemon continued before addressing his audience, and especially his mom:
We are saying to you, if you are fully vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a mask outside. If you want to travel, you can. Wear a mask, follow the protocols. But it is 99.99 [or] whatever percent chance that you won’t get the COVID — you won’t get COVID. You should trust in that science, as well. … If you are going to say, I believe in the science and the scientists, then now on this side of the pandemic, then you must believe in the science and scientists, as well.
Lemon gently referenced his mother’s age before saying he’s ready for life to return to the pre-pandemic standards after widespread vaccinations. “I want to live my life. I want to see my loved ones. So, can we get back to some semblance of normalcy?” he asked.
His mother may fear for her safety, but the media have been replete with articles by people who have thrived during the COVID-19 lockdowns and do not want its extraordinary conditions to end.
In March, Medium published an article titled, “The Side of Me That Doesn’t Want the Pandemic to End.” Later in the month, Yahoo News republished an op-ed stating, “There Are Some Aspects Of The Pandemic I Don’t Want To End.” BuzzFeed proclaimed that a return to normal life “for many people” isn’t “a good thing.” CNBC explained:
For some, this comes from an extreme fear of the disease. For others, it’s about the anxiety that comes with the idea of reacclimating into society. Others, meanwhile, have found that the pandemic has brought about positive changes in their lives, and they’re afraid of losing what they’ve gained.
Yet as the vaccine rolled out, the fear continued unabated. In April, New York Magazine posted a lengthy article profiling “The People Who Don’t Want to Return to Normalcy.” And last week, The Atlantic exposed “The Liberals Who Can’t Quit Lockdown,” noting that “some liberal policy makers have left scientific evidence behind.”
“This is real,” Lemon said on Monday night. “People are having trouble re-emerging into society after COVID-19 lockdowns.”
Why would anyone want to live in the “new normal”? Chris Cuomo blamed the narrative of continued coercion and control emanating from Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Biden administration’s CDC.
Cuomo: This messaging about the vaccine has not been good enough. They still make you feel like it’s not like every other vaccine that you’ve ever had in your life where, you may still get it, [but] you should still wear a mask; you can still have enough to be contagious; you can still spread it. You know, I get why people like your mom and my mom did not feel the confidence that we were supposed to have in getting this vaccine.
Lemon: Yes, messaging.
Cuomo: And I still don’t think they are allowing these numbers and the science to rule, and they are giving people vaccines even more latitude.
Lemon concluded by telling audience members who were afraid to leave the house: “You’ve got to believe in the science. You’ve got to believe in facts. And you’ve got to believe in reality.”
We welcome Don Lemon’s statement that facts don’t care about your feelings. We hope it informs the rest of his reporting. And we hope he gets to hug his mother soon.