"The View" co-hosts Joy Behar and Meghan McCain clashed over vaccinations on Thursday's broadcast of the hit daytime TV show, prompting co-host Whoopi Goldberg to prematurely shut down the segment.
At one point during the heated discussion, Behar insisted that conservatives are avoiding the vaccine simply in order to "own the libs."
The remarks didn't sit well with McCain, the sole conservative on the panel.
What are the details?
Early in the segment, which was about COVID-19 vaccines, vaccine lotteries, and the contingent of population who are receiving the vaccines, co-host Sunny Hostin argued that people who refuse the vaccine are "selfish," and insisted that we are "supposed to be our brothers' and sisters' keeper."
"We're supposed to take care of each other," Hostin reasoned. "We have to incentivize people to get vaccinated so they not only protect themselves and their families, but their fellow citizens — I guess I can't make sense of something like that when you have a country like India where there are 4,500 deaths every day from COVID and people there are begging for the vaccine."
Hostin concluded her tirade by insisting that people who wish to be incentivized for receiving the vaccine are "sad and selfish" and "frankly kind of absurd."
Behar's remarks came after the show played a clip of infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci saying that Americans were misinterpreting updated mask guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What are Americans 'misinterpreting'?
On Wednesday, Fauci said, "They are feeling that we're saying 'You don't need the mask anymore.' That's not what the CDC said. They said 'If you are vaccinated, you can feel safe — that you will not get infected either outdoors or indoors. It did not explicitly say that unvaccinated people should abandon their masks."
Behar chimed in, "It's not that complicated, people. It's not nuclear physics. All you have to do is get the damn vaccine. When you go inside, wear a mask even if you have the vaccine. There might be variants around. Get the damn vaccine! Get the booster when that time is coming! What is the complicated problem here with people?
"I don't understand," she continued. "Is this just to own the libs? Maybe they're not seeing enough on television the way people suffer when they get the disease. Even though the numbers are going down, people are still dying. ... You're not 'owning the libs' by not getting the shot. Nobody is growing an extra arm or head. Everybody is fine. It's the people not taking it who are not fine. I'm sick of it!"
White House and CDC have done a 'terrible job'
McCain interjected and said that Behar's remarks weren't helpful in mending division between conservatives and liberals and that Fauci's messaging on the vaccine and mask-wearing has been utter "garbage."
"And it's not just about owning the libs, the demographics on who is vaccine-hesitant — it crosses the gamut," McCain fired back. "The White House and the CDC have done a terrible job, and just saying, 'What do you want to own the libs' and that's that? It's not productive. That's why people keep going to their corners and this is coming from a place of fear. I don't think it's coming from a place of politics."
McCain added that there has been so much miscommunication surrounding the pandemic that it's easy to see why some Americans are hesitant or skeptical of a new vaccine.
"People don't understand and don't know," McCain defended. "I don't like to judge people who aren't accessible to the same resources and education I am. This is a serious, serious problem in this country."
Behar's race argument
Behar reasoned that vaccine hesitancy in black Americans is legitimate, but added that white conservatives aren't getting the vaccine because they're watching Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson.
"A lot of people of color have every right to be skeptical of the government," Behar insisted. "They have been burned for generations by various policies and so they're nervous. That's different."
McCain interrupted, "Republicans have reasons to be nervous for other [reasons]. I'm not trying to judge. I want as many people vaccinated in as many ways, but I think when you come on the show and just say we're 'owning the libs,' it's just factually inaccurate about the demographics who are not getting the vaccine. It crosses the gamut."
As McCain continued shutting her down, Behar fired back, "A lot of these people that you're talking about, Meghan, are watching Sean Hannity ... and Tucker Carlson, who are telling them that it's danger — Excuse me, can I please finish the sentence?"
McCain, however, refused to back down, and shouted, "They are not! They are not!"
She continued, snapping, “Some of these women that I know are highly educated women."
As the two women continued shouting at each other, Goldberg cut the fiery segment off and went to commercial break.