This week, CNN’s Chris Cillizza posted a photo of the “post-Christmas gift” he bought himself: a box of the increasingly hard-to-obtain BinaxNOW rapid COVID tests that are helping people feel safe visiting family during the holiday Omicron surge.
As with most of his punditry, it did not go over well.
But while much of the hate came from the anti-lockdown crowd, the most impassioned response came from Meghan McCain, the former co-host of The View, who began 2021 by complaining about having to wait her turn to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
McCain first accused Cillizza of “hoarding” tests and when he pointed out that he had ordered just eight tests total so that his family could spend New Year’s Eve together, she shot back that some people are “standing in line in the cold” for one test.
Though, in almost all of those cases, people are waiting for the more broadly accurate PCR tests that cannot be self-administered. The at-home tests that Cillizza bought online may be overpriced and hard to find—and one could argue that he had no need to show off his loot on social media—but there is also a false equivalence at play here on McCain’s part.
“I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt when you start giving conservatives the benefit of the doubt,” McCain added.
“Right. That’s what this is about. Nice try,” Cillizza replied, to which McCain wrote, “Wanna know how many Covid tests I have at home with my 15 month old? Zero.”
Before she left The View this past summer, McCain spent much of the year defending Fox News’ anti-vaccination propaganda and expressing her own doubts about the vaccine’s effectiveness—while at the same time criticizing Joe Biden’s White House for not enlisting her help for outreach to conservatives around this issue.
McCain, who earlier this week ended up in a vicious back and forth on Twitter with the even more extreme right-wing pundit Candace Owens, ultimately deleted her tweets attacking Cillizza and replaced them with a New Year’s resolution to “stop engaging in twitter fights with media dumbfucks.”