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In what starting to become a routine, The View's four co-hosts teamed up to shut down Caitlyn Jenner's argument that Americans have the "individual freedom" to decline the COVID-19 vaccine. As Jenner spouted conservative talking points, Whoopi Goldberg, Sara Haines, Sunny Hostin, and Joy Behar each took a turn dismantling her argument, leaving the guest co-host with no choice but to back down.
Jenner's systematic shut-down came during a Hot Topics segment about New York State's new vaccine mandate for health care workers, which took effect Monday. But before launching into the bulk of her argument, Jenner opened with a few words about The View's commitment to "diversity of thought," a remark that she clearly thought would prevent a four-on-one attack. Spoiler: it did not.
"I got vaccinated, I'm fine, but that was my personal choice," said Jenner, noting that her great-great-great-great grandfather Edward Jenner invented the first smallpox vaccine. "But I'm about individual freedoms. There's not a one-size fits all. What about pregnant women? Everybody has options here. And I just feel like that is a decision between a doctor and their patient ... not some bureaucrat sitting in Washington, D.C. saying, 'You have to get it.'"
"What happens when your personal freedom encroaches on the freedom of others?" asked Hostin. "That's the issue with public health; it's a collaborative effort. So, if you are really a patriot, then you care about your fellow Americans. The most patriotic thing you really can do is take care of your fellow Americans. It's also very Christian."
Jenner insisted that she "agrees with" Hostin's point, but then made it clear that she definitely does not. "Here's the problem I have with that," she said. "Healthcare workers — we lose 5, 10, 15% of our healthcare workers. How many people are going to die because they're in an emergency room and they have a car accident and they're understaffed?"
In true Sunny Hostin form, the co-host rendered Jenner's argument moot as she reminded her that New York State "has a solve for that" issue: they plan to bus in vaccinated healthcare workers to make up for staffing shortages.
At that point, Haines jumped on the bandwagon to say that unvaccinated Americans filling ICUs around the country are preventing people with other medical issues from receiving care. "Now, those beds are taken by people that chose not to get that vaccine," said Haines, earning a round of applause from the audience and nods of assent from her co-hosts. "Is that fair?" Behar asked their guest. "Is that fair?"
"Honestly, there's no fair system in the world. Everything affects somebody, okay?" replied Jenner. "What is the best way to do this, is the way I feel. As far as the vaccinations go, we need to do the best job, but I want it to be a personal choice!"
Finally, Goldberg stepped in to shut things down for good. "You know what? I'll tell you why that doesn't work. Because if we waited for people to make the choice, I would not have the right to vote in this country," she said (Jenner admitted this is an "excellent point"). "There are times when we just have to suck it up and say, 'Sorry, y'all, this is what has to get done.'"
"We are fooling around now with all of this again!" lamented Goldberg. "I'm tired of waiting on folks. I know it's not nice to say, but you know what? You're keeping me back! You're holding us back. So quit it!"
Elsewhere on The View... Every day, the co-hosts are forced to discuss their sex lives in one way or another, but Sara Haines won the morning when she insisted her husband, Max, absolutely wants to have sex with other women.
"Manny, I think, is also a very vital, healthy man that notices other things, but chooses Sunny," she told Hostin, who insisted her husband doesn't even think about other women. "That's marriage."
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Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.