Liberal pundit Keith Olbermann was roasted from both sides of the aisle on Tuesday for declaring that Texans don’t deserve access to the coronavirus vaccines because “Texas has decided to join the side of the virus.”
Olbermann, who walked away from ESPN to start an anti-Trump show on YouTube, responded to a tweet from Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott outlining plans to open the state back up and revoke mask mandates.
TEXAS GOV. ABBOTT ANNOUNCES PLAN TO FULLY REOPEN BUSINESSES, END STATE MASK MANDATE
“Why are we wasting vaccinations on Texas if Texas has decided to join the side of the virus?” Olbermann wrote.
The former MSNBC host’s opinion didn’t go over well.
“People deserve to stay safe and healthy no matter who they voted for,” left-wing pundit Molly Jong-Fast responded.
“I just think it’s wrong to make gross generalizations about the lives and potential deaths of an entire population,” Dallas Morning News reporter Evan Grant wrote. “It is mean-spirited and unhelpful on every front.”
Abbott pointed to a number of positive statistics as he detailed the Texas reopening plans, including a reduction in active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as well as the state’s lowest positivity rate in months.
He also noted the vaccine is a major contributing factor to the state’s ability to safely reopen, saying health experts expect 7 million shots to have been distributed in the state by next Wednesday.
Many others blasted Olbermann on Twitter, too:
Olbermann, long known for his difficult personality, burst on the scene in the early 1990s as a popular anchor of ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” but he moved on to politics and hosted a far-left opinion show on MSNBC from 2003 to 2011. Olbermann then bounced around the industry and anchored an anti-Trump online program for GQ, “The Resistance,” and authored a book titled, “Trump is F*–ing Crazy: (This is Not a Joke).”
He was widely criticized when his anti-Trump book featured a cover image of himself draped in the American flag, which is visibly touching the ground – a violation of U.S. flag code. He once claimed that Trump and his family had done more damage to the U.S. than 9/11 mastermind Usama bin Laden.
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In August 2017, Olbermann tweeted at first daughter Ivanka Trump and called her father a “neo-Nazi” and a “racist.” He frequently used profanity to criticize President Trump, often referring to him as a “racist f—.”
Olbermann re-joined ESPN in 2018 and managed to refrain from political hot takes while at the sports network but departed in 2020 so he would be free to chime in on the presidential election.
Fox News’ Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.