California Republican gubernatorial front-runner Larry Elder highlighted an interview he did with a COVID-19 vaccine skeptic on his radio show website last month.
The July 7 post, You’ll Want to Hear This Physician’s Take on the Vaccines, includes a YouTube video of Elder’s interview with a caller who opposes the Biden’s administration’s efforts at getting people vaccinated, including going door-to-door in some communities to hand out information about the efficacy of the vaccines.
The woman, a gynecologist in Texas, initially expresses concern about the effects of the vaccine on children under 12 and worries it may be “harmful” later in life. She then spouts far-right conspiracy theories about the vaccine effort targeting minorities, invoking the name of billionaire Bill Gates and population control as Elder strokes his chin and moves on without pushing back.
“He wants population control, so I ultimately don’t have a lot of trust in what they’re doing here,” she says.
At another point in the interview, the woman says she relies on “protocols” to stay healthy and guard against COVID-19, including vitamins, nebulized hydrogen peroxide and hydroxychloroquine.
The video, which was posted to Elder’s YouTube page with the same headline, received over 2,000 views.
Elder’s campaign didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment.
Elder, who is vaccinated, says it ought to be a person’s choice whether to get vaccinated for COVID-19. He also opposes mandates requiring California state workers to get the vaccine or else get tested regularly.
A conservative figure with hard-right views, Elder is currently leading a large field of candidates running to become the next governor of California. Elder could become governor if California voters decide to boot Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in the Sept. 14 recall election. Recall supporters must win 51% of the vote to do so.
Some polls of likely voters in recent days have shown recall supporters within striking distance, generating anxiety among Democrats in and out of the state. At stake in the race is not only a governorship in a deep blue state but perhaps also the control of the U.S. Senate.
In a sign the race is heating up, Newsom blasted Elder in a Zoom call with supporters this week, according to The Los Angeles Times.
“The leading candidate thinks climate change is a hoax, believes we need more offshore oil drilling, more fracking, does not believe a woman has the right to choose [and] actually came out against Roe v. Wade, does not believe in a minimum wage,” Newsom said on the call.