Joy Reid
© AFP / Theo Wargo
Joy Reid speaks at a virtual event in New York City on May 19, 2021
Fresh from an on-air feud with rapper Nicki Minaj, MSNBC host Joy Reid has drawn scorn and ridicule for accusing Republicans of trying to spread Covid-19 into schools, offices, and stores.

"A message to Republicans: Okay, we get it! Covid is the precious and you love it. You love Covid so much you want it to spread into schools, at the office, in the WalMart, on the cruise ships, and at the club," Reid thundered during the opening monologue of Wednesday's episode of The ReidOut.

"That green spongy ball with the red spikes? You want it pumping through your veins with an ivermectin chaser," she continued, referring to a medicine derided as "horse dewormer" by liberal commentators that has nonetheless been touted in some studies as a promising treatment for the disease.

But Reid was not concerned with nuance. She insisted Republicans who oppose the liberal consensus on the coronavirus - that it can be defeated with mandatory vaccinations and 'health passports,' and by masking schoolchildren - are "weirdos" who are "on the side of Covid," and want to "threaten our safety and our kids."

Reid's guests agreed with her that Republicans are "trying to get [Covid] into every school," and want to "drink it in a Kool-Aid cup... it's insane."

Viewers, however, thought Reid was the one who came across as "insane" during her rant. "How is this appropriate for a major news organization that's ostensibly there to inform its viewers on the news of the day in a direct and honest manner?" pundit Alicia Smith wondered. Others were more blunt, calling Reid "disgusting" and "a lunatic."

Some joked that she had been "broke[n]" by rapper Nicki Minaj. Earlier this week, Reid gave Minaj an on-air finger-wagging for relaying a vaccine horror story supposedly experienced by a friend of her cousin in Trinidad, and encouraging her fans considering the vaccine to "pray on it & make sure you're comfortable with [your] decision, not bullied."

Reid accused Minaj of using her "platform to put people in the position of dying from [the] disease," but Minaj dug in her heels, calling Reid a "lying homophobic c**n," referring to previous anti-gay blog posts by the MSNBC host, and accusing her of a desire to sell out to her white network bosses.

While Republicans are more likely than Democrats to be unvaccinated, vaccine takeup in the US is split along more lines than just the party one. African Americans, 92% of whom voted for Joe Biden last year, are less likely than white people to be vaccinated, and are often distrustful of receiving the shot at all.