Daily Show host Trevor Noah sparks controversy by questioning need for Omicron vaccine

"I'll wait to hear what neutral experts say," host says.
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Trevor Noah, June 2021
Trevor Noah, June 2021
(Steven Ryan/Getty)

Daily Show host Trevor Noah this week ignited controversy when he appeared to question the necessity of a new vaccine for the Omicron COVID-19 variant, with the famously liberal television personality pointing to a theoretical profit motive behind the push for a new shot.

"On the one hand, almost all the omicron cases have been mild so far," Noah said in a clip posted to Twitter.

"On the other hand, the guy who stands to gain millions of dollars from new vaccines, says we need new vaccines," he continued, referring to Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel.

"Now, look, I'm not saying the CEO of Moderna is lying," he added. "I'm not saying that at all. "I'm just saying I don't think he's the most objective source on this topic. I'll wait to hear what neutral experts say about a new vaccine."

On social media, Noah's comments generated considerable blowback. 

"A disappointing take," one user wrote in reply. "[V]ax hesitancy nurtures variants & impedes our ability to get out from under this. The 'greedy CEO' stereotype is lazy, undermines vax confidence & bolsters anti-vaxxer conspiracy BS."

"Not helpful," another wrote. "Fuels conspiracy theories and anti-vax rhetoric. Not impressed."