Needle Prick

Santino Rice under fire for bonkers anti-vax COVID conspiracy tweets

Project Runway alum and RuPaul’s Drag Race fixture Santino Rice has come under fire on Twitter for a series of remarks insisting COVID-19 is a “man-made” disease, and thus discouraging his followers from getting vaccinated.

As early as May 2021, Rice began tweeting misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, railing against the various vaccines designed to protect against it.

“What they are selling people isn’t even a vaccine! They are calling it a “vaccine” but it is not really a proper vaccine. Call me crazy… Keep informing yourself on what this “vaccine” is! Keep questioning EVERYTHING,” Rice tweeted on May 14.

It’s worth noting that the vaccine is free for all Americans; consumers aren’t buying anything.

“They will try to frame China but this man-made virus was designed by European and American scientists and then delivered to China knowing very well that it would eventually spread outside of the lab,” he posted later that same month. “No need to debate. Let’s talk in 5 years.”

Rice also began targeting US health officials with his attacks, including Dr. Anthony Faucci.

“Sure, Dr. Fauci is pure evil but he is merely working for a group even more evil than him,” Rice asserted in June. “He’s just following orders. Fauci will be a scapegoat along with China. This man-made virus, plandemic, and forced vaccinations are all designed by a group that do not value your life.”

Later that same month, Twitter began slapping Rice’s tweets with the dreaded misinformation warning.

“Ivermectin already existed and works for curing Covid-19,” he wrote. “Big Pharma hide this information to push their untested vaccines on a population of scared and innocent people. The truth will see the light!”

For the record, there is no evidence to support the claim that Ivermectin, a drug designed to cure a parasitic infection, combats COVID-19.

Rice’s ranting hit a fever pitch on August 13, when he fired off a series of incendiary tweets.

“YOU CAN NOT CANCEL THE TRUTH!” Rice raged in one tweet.

The designer then had several other posts removed by Twitter for spreading debunked information. Pride.com also reports that Rice himself deleted one tweet over its incendiary backlash.

“NEVER GET [THE VACCINE!]” he wrote. “YOU CAN FIND A NURSE OR PHARMACIST TO SQUIRT IT ON THE FLOOR! GENERATIONS OF HUMANS BEFORE YOU DID NOT NEED IT AND YOU DO NOT NEED IT! SUPPORT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM NATURALLY!”

Rice’s remarks come at a sensitive time in the fight against COVID-19 as medical professionals and the Biden Administration have partnered to stop the spread of misinformation and encourage Americans to get vaccinated against the virus. Infection rates across the country are on the rise, although mostly among unvaccinated individuals. While vaccinated people are still susceptible to the virus, studies show that getting vaccinated reduce symptoms and transmissibility of the virus.

It was recently reported that 92 percent of LGBTQ+ adults in US have had at least one vaccine shot.