After Royal Caribbean recently announced that it would require all adult guests to be vaccinated as a prerequisite to cruising from Nassau, an outspoken critic of the coronavirus vaccine began a call to boycott the cruise line.
Dr. Simone Gold, whose Titter handle is @drsimonegold, called the COVID-19 vaccine “experimental” and asked her followers to “#BoycottRC.”
WOW: @RoyalCaribbean cruises is now requiring you to get an experimental vaccine to book a cruise with them.
I will be boycotting the company instead. Who else is with me? #BoycottRC pic.twitter.com/5xSNzyz0It
— Dr. Simone Gold (@drsimonegold) March 20, 2021
The post received over 8,251 likes and over 2,600 retweets and “quote tweets” and generated well over 3,100 comments since it was posted this weekend.
Yesterday, two major news outlets covered this rather bizarre story. Newsweek magazine published an article titled Royal Caribbean Faces Boycott as Only Vaccinated Adults Allowed on Cruise Ships. The U.K.’s Daily Mail published Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises Announce They Are Relaunching In June But You Can Travel Only If You Are COVID Vaccinated Sparking Calls To Boycott Firms For “Eroding Freedoms.”
Dr. Gold Simone Gold gained notoriety last year when she and other doctors of a fringe medical group were photographed attending a press conference organized by conservative activists in front of the Supreme Court to protest lockdowns and criticize efforts to stop the spread of the pandemic. A video of the event was retweeted by former president Trump. Dr. Gold has been labelled a “toxic purveyor of misinformation” after she advocated for the hydroxychloroquine drug championed by the former president as a cure for COVID-19. Dr. Gold was a staunch Trump supporter who entered the Capital during the violent insurrection on January 6,, 2021 and addressed the insurrectionists with a bullhorn. She was subsequently arrested by the FBI. Regarding her boycott efforts, she repeats her baseless claim that the Covid-19 vaccine is an “experimental biological agent.”
Dr. Gold’s “#BoycottRC” tweets appear to be part of her campaign of misinformation which has been retweeted largely by conservatives and Trump followers.
Report: Royal Caribbean will mandate COVID shots for all on board. Through the use of a dystopian medical tracking system the cruise line will implement policy. Boycott this tyranny and send them a message.https://t.co/HplNqvLZdm
— Free Man (@Edmund4Texas) March 21, 2021
Others on Twitter commented about their “freedoms” being taken away, often with fanciful descriptions of totalitarian governments teaming up with corporations to steal their fundamental rights, including widespread conspiracy theories involving Pfizer and the Gates Foundation.
Another Twitter user, by the handle Patriot Takes @patriottakes, responded to Dr. Gold’s tweets with the comment “MAGAs are starting to boycott Royal Caribbean.”
This is about everyone’s safety not just one persons. This is a great way to be sure a cruise is safe for all. It’s the only way I would ever cruise again. No one will miss MAGA’s here or anywhere. If u can’t participate to keep society safe or even understand it then we don’t
— mark (@mark14337488) March 23, 2021
Patriot Takes’ tweet has received 7,771 likes, over 800 retweets / quoted tweets. Over 1,400 people commented on the tweet, including the comment above which was typical of many who said that they were actually more likely to go on a Royal Caribbean cruise if it meant that they were less likely to travel with a MAGA fan.
Notwithstanding the fact that Dr. Gold appears to be a marginal representative of a fringe group of anti-vaxxers, this development does not bode well for Royal Caribbean or other cruise lines which may subsequently require adults to be vaccinated. There is a substantial partisan split along party lines on receiving a Covid-19 vaccine.
Polls show that far more Democrats are likely to be vaccinated, compared to just one-half of Republicans. The vaccine hesitancy which is higher among Republicans than any other demographic group is borne out by a recent Axios / CIVIQS poll. A Gallup poll also showed that 91% of Democrats but only 51% of Republicans would agree to get vaccinated if the vaccine were available to them right now.
Are you more or less likely to go on a cruise where all adults passengers and all crew members are vaccinated? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.
Image Credit: Simone Gold in Capital Building – John Strand via FBI Arrest Affidavit, Washington Post and Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images via the Guardian.