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Things We Saw Today: Viral TikTok Video Has a Brutally Honest Response to “I’m Not Gonna Get the Vaccine”

Comedian Scott Steiss's viral TikTok video about anti-vaxxers

Comedian Scott Seiss posted a spot-on and unsparing video response to anti-vaxxers in May that took off on Twitter again after some recent celebrity retweets.

This blunt handling of the topic feels refreshing in a time of mass social media misinformation about vaccines, falling vaccination rates even as the Delta variant surges, and news outlets that use gentler terms like “vaccine hesitancy.” President Biden has just called out social networks like Facebook for “killing people” by helping to host and spread lies about the vaccine.

Seiss’s frustration and impatience with those who are putting themselves and others at risk bleeds through this short TikTok video. For many of us watching baffled as people proudly go unvaccinated, and for those who have failed to convince friends and family, Seiss’s words are relatable. This is further evidenced as the video racks up retweets and the stats stand at more than 2 million views on Twitter alone.

If you think he’s being harsh in his messaging, I think it’s harsh to forgo a vaccine that could save your life, help protect those around you, and that countless people who can’t access it worldwide would be thrilled to receive. This sort of video is also Seiss’s trademark comedic approach, and you can watch more of them over on TikTok.

“I’m not gonna get the vaccine,” Seiss begins, in a somewhat mocking tone. Fast cut to:

“Then die,” he says. “What do you want me to do? Argue with you? I’m not on the debate team. This isn’t mock trial.”

He switches back to the voice of an anti-vaxxer. “Aren’t you worried about the side effects?”

“I’m worried about the disease.”

The anti-vaxxer again: “They’re tracking you through the microchip.”

This is a reference to the absurd but widespread conspiracy theory that governments are using COVID-19 vaccines as a chance to insert a tracking microchip into recipients. As though they were incapable of tracking people through the phones we carry everywhere and the information we willingly put on social networks every day, should they like! As though the governments of the world could be bothered to microchip millions of its residents for—I don’t know, reasons? There never seems to be a reason provided beyond the initial paranoid assertion.

Seiss answers the “microchip” claim with the same reminder: “They’re tracking you through the phone you’re watching this on.”

“Get the vaccine,” he finishes adamantly.

There are people out there who cannot get the vaccine because they have certain medical conditions, and this clearly isn’t directed at them. The best thing that we can do for those who cannot safely be vaccinated and those under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible is for those who are eligible to get vaccinated to better protect them.

As much as I appreciate Seiss’s no-holds-barred approach, it’s stunning to look at the replies underneath his Tweet and see an endless stream of anti-vaxxers chiming in to angrily refute his message. There are even many people claiming more than a year into a pandemic that has killed four million people worldwide that the coronavirus isn’t real. If you want to lose faith in humanity, I can recommend that thread. If you’ve had enough with an anti-vaxxer in your life, you can send them this video.

Here are some other things we saw:

  • Rescuers are still racing against the clock to find survivors of Western Europe’s devastating floods, as the region reels from “a catastrophe of historic proportions.” (via CNN)
  • Celebrities are mourning Biz Markie with tributes after the “Just a Friend” rapper died at age 57. (via HuffPo)
  • “So Wait, Are Hayley Atwell and Tom Cruise Actually Dating?” I don’t want to know the answer to this so you can click for me. (via Pajiba)
  • Director Spike Lee seems to have jumped the gun and announced Titane as the winner of the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or top prize. (via Variety)
  • Space Jam: A New Legacy had a strong box office start, but critics are being less kind, with the movie currently at 31% on Rotten Tomatoes. (via Deadline and Rotten Tomatoes)
  • Miss Minutes almost had a fight scene on Loki??? (via Nerdist)

And finally, is The Good Place’s Manny Jacinto the most beautiful person on Earth? All signs point to yes.

What did you see out there on this fine Saturday?

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.