This is a rush transcript from “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” January 10, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

RACHEL CAMPOS-DUFFY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Yes, well, I’ll tell you when I saw the video, Joey, I thought that was AOC in Miami.

All right, thanks, Joey. Thanks for watching “FOX NEWS PRIMETIME.” I’m Rachel Campos-Duffy. Don’t forget to catch our podcast “From the Kitchen Table.” Sean and I sat down with Senator Ron Johnson.

I’ll be back for the whole week.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Good evening and welcome to TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT.

In the weeks before Joe Biden took office, a little over a year ago, Federal officials met to decide how they were going to distribute the new COVID vaccines. If you’ll think back, you’ll remember that December of 2020 was the deadliest month to date in the COVID pandemic. More than 65,000 Americans had died that month.

People were very afraid of the virus then. There was no treatment protocol for it. Vaccines seemed like the only hope, so the meeting was very significant. The C.D.C.’s Chief Medical Officer, a person called Kathleen Dooling unveiled her plan to distribute the vaccines nationally.

She began by acknowledging that older Americans indeed face the greatest risk as everyone understood. So logically, if you wanted to save as many Americans as possible from dying, you will give preference the very first shots to people over 65. That’s the obvious policy. It might be the only morally defensible policy.

But there was a problem with doing that, she explained. Older Americans were too white. As Dooling put it, quote, “Racial and ethnic minority groups are underrepresented among adults aged 65 and older.” And this meant according to Dooling, they could not be allowed to get the first COVID shots, whether they needed them or not.

So instead, Dooling recommended giving priority to a group the government started calling essential workers. Their main qualification was not that they were essential, but they were less white than old people. So that’s what the C.D.C. went with. Its panel overwhelmingly approved Kathleen Dooling’s recommendation.

None of this got a lot of notice at the time, but it was a major change. Never in American history — modern history in any case — has the Federal government made it official policy to withhold lifesaving medical treatment from Americans on the basis of their skin color. But that’s exactly what the C.D.C. did.

Those most likely to die of COVID had to wait weeks until their vaccines were approved. How many of them died in the meantime, as they waited? No one kept track of those numbers because nobody seemed to care. And because nobody cared, the trend continued.

Race had become a deciding factor in the distribution of critical healthcare in this country. Several states made it explicit. Whites would go last in the COVID vaccine queue regardless of need.

The State of Vermont did this, so did the State of Montana, and then the moment he was declared President-elect, Joe Biden made it official. A concept called equity, a kind of hyper-aggressive, racially hostile affirmative action would form the basis of everything the new administration did beginning with COVID policy.

Here is Biden before even being sworn in last year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to be very clear what my priorities are for distributing this emergency aid swiftly and equitably.

Our focus will be on small businesses on Main Street that aren’t wealthy and well-connected, that are facing real economic hardships through no fault of their own. Our priority will be black, Latino, Asian, and Native- American owned small businesses, and women-owned businesses.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: So you’ll notice the assumption in that sentence, which undergirds all the assumptions behind the administration’s equity policy, and that is that non-white means poor and non-white means less healthy. As a factual matter, that is certainly not true across the board. It’s not even close to true. In fact, the highest income groups in this country are not white — but they’ve run with it, and he made good on that promise.

In its first year, the Biden administration awarded billions of dollars in COVID relief for example to black farmers purely on the basis of their skin color. Race was the only criterion.

Now, doing that was illegal, obviously. It violated all kinds of Federal laws and the Federal Courts struck it down, but the White House didn’t stop, they accelerated. They applied that same standard to everything very much including the allocation of healthcare. Healthcare for all — that was the slogan for generations. The new slogan under the Biden administration was healthcare for favored groups.

And those policies continue tonight. There are legal, there are moral, and yet they are all but ignored by the media and by the way, by Republican lawmakers.

Several weeks ago, for example, the Food and Drug Administration released a factsheet on a monoclonal antibody called sotrovimab.

Sotrovimab is at this point, the only monoclonal antibody treatment that is proven effective against the latest variant of the coronavirus. The F.D.A. provided guidance for physicians in all 50 states telling them how to determine which patients should get this treatment, this critical treatment.

Physicians, the F.D.A. explained should consider quote, “race and ethnicity” as they administer treatments and so physicians are doing that across the country.

In Utah, COVID patients are triaged by a scoring system that determines whether or not they qualify for these potentially lifesaving antibody treatments. Look at this chart, it shows the scoring system. You’ll notice that race often counts more than physical health.

The State of Utah, for example, gives two points to anyone simply for not being white. You win if you’re not white. If you have congestive heart failure at the same time, you get one point. So if you’re a white congestive heart failure patient, that’s not enough for you.

It’s the same story in Minnesota. Minnesota awards two points to so-called BIPOC patients. That means anyone who is not white. If you have high blood pressure and you’re 60 years old, you get one point. So tough luck for you. Imagine if that was one of your parents. It is one of someone’s parents.

In New York, writes Aaron Sibarium, in a shocking new piece for “The Washington Free Beacon,” quote, “Racial minorities are automatically eligible for scarce COVID-19 therapeutics, regardless of age or underlying conditions.” It doesn’t matter what kind of health they’re in, all that matters is their skin color. Whites don’t qualify.

This is not healthcare, its punishment. It is punishment meted out on the basis of skin color.

Now, the justification for all of this, the authorities could not be clearer about it. They’ve taken their ideas directly from America’s colleges, they will tell you why they’re doing this. The justification is history.

The United States has mistreated racial minorities in centuries past, they say, therefore, whites must suffer now. So your ancestors did bad things or people who looked like your ancestors did bad things, so now, we are withholding medicine from you.

They call this equity. It’s not equity. It is collective punishment. It’s the North Korean standard. It’s the definition of evil.

And in case you’re wondering if that’s actually what it is, consider this. A young Haitian man could cross our border illegally today, many have. That person could show up at a clinic in New York tomorrow for COVID treatment, and get preference over an elderly American citizen purely because of his appearance.

Think about that. The Haitian has not suffered from systemic racism in America, whatever that is, he just got here. But he goes to the front of the line anyway. Now, that’s not a criticism of the Haitian, it is not his fault. He didn’t make the rules.

But the Americans who did make the rules clearly didn’t make them on the basis of public health. They made them in an effort to hurt a specific group of Americans and they are succeeding. This is happening everywhere, even in places you would never expect it to happen.

Watch as this man talks to an employee at a Texas medical facility to find out exactly what their policies are.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I’m not able to get it today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nuh-uh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I don’t qualify.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What if I — what if I like smoke and vape? I heard that was okay.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay. But if I were black and Hispanic, then I’d be able to qualify. Okay, I’m being denied medical service because of my race, is that —

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That’s the criteria.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: So you can’t get lifesaving drugs from the government of Texas if you’re the wrong color. Think about that.

We reached out to the Texas Department of Health about this back in November and they denied allocating any healthcare on the basis of race, but of course they were lying. The North Central Texas COVID-19 Regional Infusion Center was created by the Texas Department of Health.

Last year, the Infusion Center’s website which says it is state funded featured an information sheet that explicitly listed race as an eligibility factor for getting antibody therapy. That’s what you just saw there, someone being denied medical treatment because he is the wrong color, without even assessing the relative health risks involved.

The website maintained by the Tarrant County, Texas — by the County of Tarrant in Texas explains that being nonwhite automatically makes you eligible for treatments. So this is still happening on a wide scale.

The question is, why are Americans putting up with this? It’s immoral. We’re used to hearing that your kids can’t get into a certain school if they are the wrong color or get a certain job if they don’t have the right appearance, and apparently they have accepted that.

The only sin is complaining about it, that makes you a monster, but denying healthcare to American citizens because of their race? That is too much. Actually, it is terrifying.

Vivek Ramaswamy has thought a lot about the intersection of politics and race and science. He is a lawyer and a scientist. He’s also the author of the bestselling book “Woke Inc.” He joins us tonight.

Vivek, thanks so much for coming. All kinds of things to say about this, but I can’t help but think that trust in a doctor is the key to our entire healthcare system. You have to believe that the doctor has your interest at heart.

I can’t think of anything that destroys that trust more quickly or permanently than policies like this.

VIVEK RAMASWAMY, BIOTECH ENTREPRENEUR AND AUTHOR, “WOKE, INC.”: Exactly. I mean, this is a political agenda all the way down disguised in the veneer of science. They justify it by saying that actually outcomes are worse for nonwhite populations than white populations resulting from COVID-19.

Well, guess what, Tucker? It’s also true that actually men are more likely to die of COVID infection than women. Yet curiously, none of those documents propose apportioning care differentially for men rather than women.

It is a political agenda all the way down. It is also illegal by the way. There is a clear, longstanding Supreme Court doctrine that says that any state based classification on the basis of race is subject to a standard called strict scrutiny, and any constitutional scholar who isn’t lying to you will tell you that this hands down, fails that test.

And so I come from the John Roberts school, which is actually much simpler, the best way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race. Instead, we seem hell bent at every corner in going in the opposite direction. And if we keep doing it, I think this is the beginning of the end of the American experiment as we know it.

CARLSON: Well, I agree with that, and I’m really struck in all of this by the lack of good faith. If you look carefully at these policies, they’re not actually designed to help anybody. They’re designed to hurt people. So, if you’re giving preference in medical treatment to a young, healthy person over a senior citizen with a profound underlying ailment, then you are by definition trying to hurt the older person. Like why are no lawmaker say anything about this?

RAMASWAMY: It’s actually hurting people in every direction, Tucker. Actually, you mentioned the point about the vaccines from a year ago. This is actually a really good point where let us actually look back and see how well that policy actually worked in convincing black Americans to get vaccinated.

Over 60 percent of Americans today are fully vaccinated. I think that number is close to one-third of black Americans in this country are fully vaccinated, and shouldn’t at all be surprising if we get the fastest vaccines ever in history through the F.D.A. approval process, and we say, oh, by the way, the government would like black Americans to go first.

Do you think that’s actually going to build trust in the black community, let alone the unfairness in every other direction as well? So, I think it fails black Americans, white Americans, and everyone in between.

And by the way, where is the mention of economic class in any of this, right? I’m not an equity person. I’m not an equality of outcomes guy. But even if you want an equality of outcomes, let’s talk about doing it on the basis of economics rather than race, yet they don’t even seem interested in that anymore.

CARLSON: No, because it never is. I mean, if you wanted to make the population radical and distrustful and conspiracy minded, if you want to destroy the bonds that hold people together, this is exactly what you would do, and clearly, they want that.

Vivek, I appreciate you coming on tonight. Thank you.

RAMASWAMY: Thank you.

CARLSON: So here is an interesting story. For two years, we’ve talked about the numbers. What are the numbers? It turns out, we don’t really know what the numbers are because there’s too much lying about the numbers.

This show has obtained the December 2020 e-mail chain between senior C.D.C. officials, Trey Moeller, a Donald Trump appointee was C.D.C.’s Deputy Chief of Staff at the time, E-mailed top officials to ask why COVID was listed as a cause of death for nearly 30,000 cases of sepsis, 784 HIV cases, many drug overdoses and somebody struck by lightning. Those didn’t see my COVID deaths to him.

But the officials defended the policy of marking these deaths as COVID deaths even though that didn’t make sense.

Bob Anderson, head of the C.D.C.’s Mortality Statistics Branch responded this way. “In many cases, these comorbidities would not be fatal on their own.”

Oh, the lightning strike, for example, right?

Now over a year later, with Trump safely out of office, the C.D.C. is publicly acknowledging, yes, they lied.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to ask you about those encouraging headlines that we’re talking about this morning. This new study showing just how well vaccines are working to prevent severe illness.

Given that, is it time to start rethinking how we’re living with this virus that it is potentially here to stay?

DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: The overwhelming number of deaths, over 75 percent occurred in people who had at least four comorbidities. So really, these are people who were unwell to begin with.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: And it’s not just the Feds. In the State of New York, the Governor is acknowledging the nearly half — nearly half of the state’s hospitalized COVID patients were actually admitted for reasons that had nothing to do with COVID.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. KATHY HOCHUL (D-NY): Looking at just on the 4th of January, we realized that 39 percent of the people who are hospitalized with non-COVID related reasons and checking in yesterday’s number, that number was actually 42 percent.

Now that is our statewide average, but it is important also to look at the variations in our different parts of the state. The most number of people admitted for non-COVID reasons as of just yesterday, or a couple of days ago are in New York City. It’s about 50/50.

Fifty-fifty, so half of the hospitalizations in New York City are someone who needs to be there because of their COVID — severity of their COVID situation, and the other half are there for other reasons.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: “The other half are there for other reasons.” It’s been two years. This is not some esoteric number. This is not a footnote in a study. These are the hospitalization numbers. These are the most basic numbers that we have, the ones we talk about every day, the ones upon which all COVID policy is based, and it turns out they’re completely wrong. Completely wrong. Liars.

Dr. Scott Atlas is a former coronavirus adviser in the Trump White House. He is the author of “A Plague Upon Our House,” an amazing book on his experiences. He joins us tonight.

Doctor, thanks so much for coming on. You were famously — we’ve had this conversation a number of times — stunned by how political the process was when you got a look at it firsthand. But even as cynical as you became from that experience, are you a little shocked to find out that half the hospitalizations in New York were not actually from COVID?

DR. SCOTT ATLAS, FORMER CORONAVIRUS ADVISER IN THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE: Well, no, because I knew that then this is not news, this is just newly revealed. I tried — this is a continuation of the denial of science and the facts, the basic facts about COVID.

We’ve already seen almost a year ago, even the medical literature, Stanford Pediatrics published a paper showing that more than half of pediatric hospitalizations for COVID had zero symptoms of COVID. Zero. This is in the medical literature.

This is in the medical literature throughout the spring of 2021, except while I was in the White House in the summer, late summer, early fall 2020, we knew this because we were defining COVID differently on the basis of simply a positive test. And so there was a complicated system of reimbursements and other incentives, and these people were called COVID hospitalizations.

When you have zero symptoms of a disease, that’s not the reason, obviously, for being hospitalized. You just happened to be test positive. You know, this is always again, a remembrance for me of how it was there.

When I was talking about the risk factors to the Task Force, the people in the Task Force didn’t understand, didn’t know or simply denied the facts.

We know now, it is two thirds of deaths of Americans from COVID are people with six or more comorbidities. Yet the message was out there that anybody with hypertension, high blood pressure was at high risk for COVID that was false. We knew that. I showed the papers to the people on the Task Force back in the summer of 2020. By the way, they didn’t just deny it or didn’t know it, they simply said I was an outlier and kept repeating disinformation.

So we have to remember these people were not only as you say, incompetent, I was stunned. There was a moral bankruptcy a complete failure of public health leadership, which continues today, because these people don’t take it upon themselves to know the data and to say it truthfully, so instead, they have inculcated this culture of severe fear.

And you know, you should read about this in my book, but basically, this was an intentional inculcation of fear in the American public. It was admitted to me in the Task Force room itself. This is really — this can never happen again. We cannot have public bureaucrats, public health bureaucrats, be in charge and be deemed experts.

The American people now are in a position where we have to know the data ourselves, figure out who is speaking truthfully on the basis of their consistency and showing facts, and then rely on them.

We can never trust these kinds of bureaucrats and people with credentials again, simply based on their credentials alone.

CARLSON: The greatest crime in American history, nothing comes close. One correction, they didn’t just describe you as an outlier, they tried to destroy your life for telling the truth. I watched it happen. So thank you for standing firm, Dr. Scott Atlas.

ATLAS: Yes, but I just want to say — I just want to say, I have a shout out to my friend and colleague John Ioannidis at Stanford who kept reassuring me during that time, “Scott, the truth will prevail. Everything you’re saying is exactly right.” And hopefully we’re starting to see that now with these admissions about hospitalizations and deaths being mis- categorized.

CARLSON: I hope so. No one else said it. Scott Atlas, thank you.

So we’re waiting on the Supreme Court to rule on Joe Biden’s completely lunatic vaccine mandate, which is in fact an attack on American citizens, the most important decision in a very long time. That’s next as we come back to this Special Edition of TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: Welcome back to this Special Edition of TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT. Federal coronavirus policy, “The Crime of the Century”.

Well, the Supreme Court just heard arguments about the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates. We’ve got a window into what it is like up there. Justice Sonia Sotomayor used the opportunity to show that she knows absolutely nothing at all.

Listen to her describe the effect of the virus on young people.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR, U.S. SUPREME COURT: We have hospitals that are almost at full capacity with people severely ill on ventilators. We have over a hundred thousand children, which we’ve never had before in serious condition and many on ventilators.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

CARLSON: A hundred thousand children in serious condition, many on ventilators. Oh you mean 100,000 children who can’t read, who are considering suicide, whose lives have been destroyed, in fact many times that.

As for the kids in the hospital with corona, the number is a tiny, tiny fraction of that. Even C.D.C. Director Rochelle Walensky admitted that an interview with FOX. The actual number of kids hospitalized with COVID, not necessarily from COVID, a tiny percentage. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALENSKY: We also know that —

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF POLITICAL ANCHOR: The number is not a hundred thousand, it is roughly 3,500 in hospitals now.

WALENSKY: Yes, there are — and in fact, what I will say is, while pediatric hospitalizations are rising, they’re still about 15-fold less than hospitalizations of our older age demographic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: That’s not really an answer. Why don’t they just tell us the numbers? I mean, these people are paid to have the numbers, honest numbers, not fake numbers that they make up in order to manipulate us, but real numbers. You never got them.

J.D. Vance wants them. That’s why he is running for Senate from the State of Ohio. He joins us tonight.

J.D. Vance, thanks so much for coming on.

When you hear — you’re an attorney, by the way, we should tell our viewers — when you hear a Supreme Court Justice say something that’s so disconnected from reality, that it is laughable, what does it make you think?

J.D. VANCE (R), OHIO SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Well, it makes me think these are who these people are, right, Tucker?

I used to like to think that we were ruled by smart people, people who were public spirited, and had some intelligence, but what Sonia Sotomayor revealed is that she is an idiot, and that so many of the people that think the way that she thinks are also idiots, and these people have an incredible amount of power over our lives, not because they are public spirited, or even because they’re smart, but just because they happen to be given these positions for one reason or another.

We have to remind ourselves, Tucker, this is not just harmless disinformation, right? She didn’t tell a little white lie, she told a lie about a hundred thousand children. You know, I’m the father of three young kids myself. That disinformation I’m sure caused a ton of hysterical liberals to double down on their lockdown and school closure policies, which of course, affects our entire country.

These people are disconnected from reality, and they are disconnected in a way that is ruining our lives.

CARLSON: So what do you think? I mean, I have to say, you went to Yale Law School, which I think has produced more Supreme Court Justices lately than any other. You’re familiar with this world from the conservative part of the Federalist Society part of it.

But what do you think the chances are that the Supreme Court upholds what is clearly unconstitutional, a terrifying attack on basic human rights these vax mandates?

VANCE: Yes, you know, I’m sort of a fake lawyer, Tucker. I’ve been in the business world for a long time now. But I think we have a very good chance of winning, meaning the vaccine mandates are very likely to be struck down. They are ridiculous. And of course, they distract Federal policymakers from actually making a difference in the pandemic and the economic carnage that their decisions have made.

CARLSON: Right.

VANCE: I mean, I think Tucker, Joe Biden has blood on his hands. Why? Because while he spent the last year forcing vaccine mandates down the throats of Americans, we have terrible antibody shortages that could have saved hundreds, thousands of lives. Why aren’t our leaders ever focused on real problems?

Instead, they’re focused on doling out care based on skin color, or forcing mandates down the throats of people, even though all of those mandates seem to do is divide us and make us hate one another. They don’t solve any of the actual problems the country faces,

CARLSON: Long, long, long topic, long answer potentially, but really quickly, why have we not talked about treatment for the last two years? Like why are they against treating this disease they claim to take so seriously?

VANCE: Yes, I think it’s always useful, Tucker, to ask who gets rich from this and who doesn’t? And of course, we know that the pharmaceutical companies that are producing the vaccines, they’re out there selling it as a recurring therapy, right?

If they — if you have to take a shot, every single person in the country, the government forces you to do it every three months, every six months — you make a whole lot more money than a one-off person who happens to have severe COVID getting an antibody treatment.

I think that the hidden secret of this is that the government has conspired with the pharmaceutical industry to force the most expensive treatments instead of doing something that would save the most lives and causes the least disruption.

CARLSON: As long as you’re not criticizing Pfizer, which I don’t think is allowed anymore. I appreciate what you said.

J.D. Vance, great to see you tonight. Thank you.

VANCE: Thanks, Tucker.

CARLSON: Harmeet Dhillon, the famed Civil Rights attorney is directly involved in this case. She is representing a client who is fighting against the vax mandates, as we told you, a ruling is imminent.

Harmeet Dhillon is with the Center for American Liberty, she joins us tonight to explain the very latest.

Harmeet, thanks a lot for coming on. Where do you think this is going?

HARMEET DHILLON, LAWYER, CENTER FOR AMERICAN LIBERTY: Well, I think that there may be a split ruling out of the Court, Tucker. I think on the case where I’m representing “The Daily Wire” challenging the large employer mandate, it looks to me like we have five or six votes to enjoin that order.

But on the one regarding medical facilities, because the order is tied to Federal funding, I think there are some different arguments there and the justices seem more likely to uphold that OSHA mandate on medical facilities.

So that’s what I think and for my client, today is day one when the compliance is supposed to be occurring and that’s true for 80 million employees around the country, so the fact that the Court is still sitting on this and hasn’t ruled yet produces tremendous expense, uncertainty, stress and disruption to the American economy.

So I really hope for the sake of all those employees and employers that the Court rules quickly so that we can move on and arrange our affairs accordingly.

CARLSON: Do you think there is any Supreme Court Justice who might ask, wait a second, since when do politicians know more about healthcare than nurses?

DHILLON: Well, yes. I think some of the Justices actually did hint at that, you know, in their questioning. It didn’t really come out. It was pretty opaque, a lot of very legalistic questions were being asked, but underlying all of that is a big issue of deference to administrative agencies and a major question doctrine.

And so I think that there are many Justices who are keyed in and believe that this is not in the Federal power at all, although one of the lawyers arguing before the Court for Ohio conceded that States have the power to impose such a vaccine mandate.

So we’re not out of the woods at all, Tucker. If the Court strikes is down, there will be many states, probably New York, California and some other states that decide that it is within their power under existing Supreme Court precedent to order this type of thing, then we’ll have a fresh round of litigation over that.

And meanwhile, we all know that this virus — this this vaccine is not particularly effective against the current version of the virus. And so, it all really undermines both citizen confidence in the judiciary and in the legislature and in public health.

This is really a bad situation for the future of public health in our country, the way that the government is handling this particular situation.

CARLSON: Yes. I mean, I don’t think anyone can look at this and say, yes, I want, you know, these people to be in charge of our healthcare. There is a lot of evidence, a steaming pile of evidence, in fact that this vaccine, the boost — so-called booster, the third vax is negatively correlated to the new variant. You’re more likely to get it and pass it. This is so crazy.

I appreciate, Harmeet Dillon, you’re fighting this fight directly. Thank you.

DHILLON: Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON: So the omicron variant is much more mild than past variants. We don’t have real numbers on how many people died from it, it doesn’t seem like very many, not that you could trust the numbers, but it doesn’t seem that way. Everyone you know has it right now. Probably no one has died from it.

And yet weirdly, the COVID hysteria is increasing. The left keeps ginning up the fear when maybe we should acknowledge this could be good news, maybe the end of the pandemic. That’s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CARLSON: Welcome back to the Special Edition of TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT on “The Crime of the Century”.

Look, a lot of this COVID stuff is pretty complicated. The numbers are big, you’re probably not good at math, so we’re just going to bottom line it for you. You should be terrified, because this is the scariest thing that’s ever happened.

And if you emerge for even a moment from your constant state of terror, run back to it. That’s what they are telling you about the omicron variant of COVID.

Yet back in the real world, hospitalization rates are actually nine times lower than they were for previous strains of corona. Deaths are negligible. So why are people panicked?

Heather Mac Donald has thought about this deeply as she does with everything. She’s got a brand new piece on it in “The Spectator.” She of course is the author of “The Diversity Delusion,” one of our favorites. She joins us tonight.

Heather, thanks so much for coming on. So why are people so afraid of an illness that objectively speaking probably shouldn’t terrify people?

HEATHER MAC DONALD, FELLOW, MANHATTAN INSTITUTE: Like I’ve been so depressed by the media, I’m calling everything COVID now. Tucker, because the media has perfected a set of strategies to keep people terrified over the last couple of months, and they’re working marvelously.

Strategy number one, flog the case count. If all you hear from the press is cases are rising, cases are rising, it tells you one thing, deaths have been a terrible disappointment because if the media could say, deaths are rising, deaths are rising, believe me, that’s all we’d hear about. In fact, with omicron, deaths have stayed absolutely low and they’re not going anywhere.

Strategy number two, create a group norm of fear. The man on the street interviews and they are actually females, is one parade of neurotics after another, you know, a female who says, I’m so scared to even go out of my house, I’ve canceled on my restaurant reservations. I’m not traveling anymore.

And this is social psychology to make you think, well, if everybody around me is scared, then I should be scared, too, and the media does the same selection with their experts. They choose only those experts to quote, “who prefer an unknown hypothetical of fear over known facts.”

So listen, you’ll hear all the time, well, yes, maybe omicron seems mild. But it could get really bad. We just don’t know yet. We really don’t know.

No. We know the facts. They’ve been in from South Africa from the beginning. It is nothing to be afraid of, it is something to be celebrated because it is going to create herd immunity with very little public health cost.

CARLSON: You’ve got to wonder how long this can continue. I mean, can you keep 325 million people in a continuous state of terror and hysteria?

MAC DONALD: I keep thinking people are going to get fed up, but I can tell you in blue state dystopia in Manhattan, people are getting scared-er and scared-er.

I despair, Tucker, when I see healthy young males, not just masked outdoors where there is no chance of transmission, period, but double masked outdoors. I do despair.

Now, red state America may be in a different condition. But here, I would have assumed even the progressive left would have gotten fed up by now and said, come on, let’s just take our chances and go back to normal. There is no signs of that.

People prefer it seems to live in a state of fear. It makes them feel alive somehow, engaged in a great dramatic struggle when in fact, thanks to modern technology, thanks to the rule of law, life is very safe and good for virtually all Americans today.

CARLSON: But it gives meaning to their sad, barren lives. I mean, this is kind of the endpoint to a consumer society. It’s sad.

Heather Mac Donald, thank you for your wisdom as always.

MAC DONALD: Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON: So here is a weird story, weirder than anything about UFOs we ever brought you.

Michael Jackson was sighted on live television over the weekend. Michael Jackson who died 12 years ago? Yes. We have the tape, straight ahead on this Special Edition of TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT, “The Crime of the Century”.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: So yesterday was Sunday, you may have found yourself on the couch, idly flipping around the TV dial, and if you flipped far enough, you could have had the shock of your life. Michael Jackson was on “Face the Nation.”

Let’s be clear, this wasn’t video of Michael Jackson performing his hit songs in the 1990s. This appeared to be a living version of the international pop star that news reports claimed died of a drug OD more than a dozen years ago. And yet despite those claims, there he was, fully undeniably Michael Jackson talking on television.

How can that be? Honestly, we have no idea. We’re not theologians here. This is merely a news program. We can only show you what we saw. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): There is nothing more important for us to do than protect our Constitution and our democracy. What the Republicans are doing across the country is really a legislative continuation of what they did on January 6th, which is to undermine our democracy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: See, Michael Jackson. That was him. No, Billie Jean apparently has given up singing, now, he is telling lies about politics.

Same man. If you’ve ever seen Michael Jackson, you cannot forget the face though, admittedly, he’s had a lot of work done since we saw him last.

Well, long before he hosted the show “Dirty Jobs,” Mike Rowe was the host for the home shopping network, QVC. And to get that job, he had to pass a test. He had to sell a number two pencil in eight minutes. We asked him, “How did you do that” in a brand new episode of “Tucker Carlson Today.”

His answer is one of the greatest things we’ve ever caught on tape. Here is Mike Rowe explaining how to sell a pencil.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: What did you say about the pencil for eight minutes?

MIKE ROWE, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK HOST, “HOW AMERICA WORKS”: Well, the first thing you do is you as you get into feature benefit, right? It’s yellow. That’s the feature. But what’s the benefit? Well, you’re a busy person, when you open your cluttered desk drawer looking for the pencil, that bright canary yellow pops out so you don’t waste valuable time rummaging around for this, right?

You talk about the eraser, but not just the fact that it’s there. You talk about the fact that it’s there in the exact proportion needed to last the life of the pencil based on careful studies that will indicate the amount of erasing the average pencil will require during the course of its life as you sharpen it, it gets smaller.

So this pencil is made with everything you need and nothing you don’t. Right?

And then of course, you can talk about the little silver thing that attaches the eraser to the pencil. Now, in my case, I said it’s actual silver, which is rare. That’s why the pencil is $20.00.

But the money that we raise from this pencil will come back to help the kids in Madagascar. Why? Because Madagascar graphite is what is inside, not lead. And that’s important because if you lick the tip of lead well, you’ll go crazy with the poisoning from the lead, but the Madagascar graphite — so I’ll just make that crap.

I just go on and on. And then you know, then I’m two minutes in. So you start talking about yourself. You know, the first love letter I wrote to Heather Clevy, I wrote in a pencil. The first crossword puzzle I ever did.

And the last one I’d do in pencil because you need to be able to correct your mistakes. Every great theorem from Einstein was written in a pencil, the list goes on.

So you start talking about the impact of a pencil not just on Western Civilization, but on the individual who wields it and you craft it as a tool, and when you put it in the hands of a tradesman, well, what comes out the other end, if you’re Picasso, priceless sketches.

Now, the question is, the pencil goes to you, and what will you do with it?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: You sit down, you talk to Mike Rowe for an hour about his life, and you find out he’s exactly the man you thought he was, maybe even better.

You can watch the whole conversation with Mike Rowe right now on FOX Nation, just head over to tuckercarlson.com, part two out Wednesday.

So the irresistible Sandy Cortez has finally contracted the Coronavirus even though she was boosted, except the coronavirus just couldn’t keep itself off of Sandy Cortez, she is not alone. Many feel that way.

Jesse Watters joins us next on this Special Edition of TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT, “The Crime of the Century.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: Congresswoman Sandy Cortez announced on social media the other day that she is too sexy to lead a normal life. People are so attracted to her, it makes it hard, really hard. You try being that sexy.

So in the end, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that Sandy Cortez has just tested positive for COVID. She is telling us the lesson of her infection is that you must get the booster despite the fact that obviously, it didn’t help her. But the real lesson here is that Sandy Cortez is so sexy she picked up COVID.

Jesse Watters is co-host to “The Five.” He has just been named the new permanent host of the 7:00 PM hour that precedes this one, the show be called “Jesse Watters Primetime.” It will debut January 24th. We could not be more thrilled to announce this. We can’t think of a better man for the job. He knows exactly who the audience is. He understands them. He cares about their concerns, and he is hilarious.

Jesse Watters joins us now.

Jesse, congratulations. That is the best news that made my day and the day of everyone who knows you and watches you. Congrats.

JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Thank you so much, Tucker. I really appreciate it.

CARLSON: No, that’s heartfelt. And it also it means you’re sexy. I mean, not quite maybe as sexy as Sandy Cortez, but how do you assess her COVID infection in light of her self-declared sexiness?

WATTERS: Obviously, I have to say that I don’t want to date AOC, but clearly, omicron wants to date AOC.

CARLSON: Yes. And was successful because AOC’s press release said she is resting in bed comfortably with coronavirus. So congratulations to omicron.

But Tucker, thank you for having me on your show during this big announcement for the seven o’clock to talk about a woman of color who is bedridden from a virus that she caught at a drag brunch. This is a very safe topic for me.

So I just want to say with all seriousness, I hope AOC is okay. I’m not going to wonder if she’s taking ivermectin or if it was easy for her to get tested while her Queens constituents had to wait in long lines or what they even serve at a drag brunch. What kind of cuisine do they serve?

Because I’m not going to mask shame her, I’m not going to COVID shame her. She is already in big trouble with the squad. The squad is livid that she has now gone down to DeSantis’s sunny South Florida, and caught the ‘cron because basically this is where all liberals have flocked for the entire pandemic.

CARLSON: Exactly.

WATTERS: For fun and freedom and now she has exposed it. I actually have a source, I haven’t confirmed it yet, but Omar is so mad at AOC that she told her to inject bleach. I have not confirmed that yet, but we are working on it.

CARLSON: Can I ask the question? Why none of these people vacation in Baltimore or Gary, Indiana? The cities that they made?

WATTERS: Or listen or in California? I mean, Newsom has a great track record out there. It’s sunny there. No, no, no. They go to Miami because deep down, they want to party like conservatives.

CARLSON: No, it’s totally true. They want to go to somebody else’s state and wreck it. Jesse Watters. We are so excited about this. I really mean it. I don’t know what you’re going to do, but I know that we’re going to be watching it. I know it’s going to be great. And I just couldn’t be happier for you.

So congrats.

WATTERS: Thanks so much, Tucker.

CARLSON: Thanks, man.

That is it for us tonight. We’ve got a brand new episode of “Tucker Carlson Today” featuring Mike Rowe, and if you’ve watched Mike Rowe for years and wondered what might — what’s he really like? You will find out because after an hour of listening to someone, you can make an informed conclusion about what they are really like.

What’s he like? A great guy.

FOX Nation is accessible by going to tuckercarlson.com.

We’ll be back every night, the show that is the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness, and groupthink.

Have a fantastic evening and in the spirit of good cheer, we are passing to Sean Hannity nine seconds early and that’s with love. Here he is.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: By the way, we’ve got to face the reality here. It truly is Watters’ World, and we are just a part of it. It’s all Watters’ World.

CARLSON: I’m okay with that.

HANNITY: I’m okay. Listen, congratulations. He has worked hard and we are all very happy for him.

He has been a big part of our team here at FOX, so Tucker, thank you.

CARLSON: Amen. Thanks, Sean.

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