Tucker Carlson says hospitals ‘play the victim’ if they receive bomb threats over trans healthcare

Tucker Carlson appears during his Fox News show Tucker Carlson Tonight

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has described healthcare officials providing gender-affirming care as “criminals” and hospitals receiving bomb threats as “playing the victim”. 

Carlson, who has a long history of making anti-LGBTQ+ comments, raged against hospitals in the US which provide gender-affirming healthcare to trans youth during a lengthy segment on his show, Tucker Carlson Tonight. 

He repeatedly compared gender-affirming healthcare – which has been described by researchers as ‘life-saving’ – as a “crime” and said he believes it “harms” children. Carlson also likened being transgender to a “fad”.

Carlson rallied against the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Tennessee after right-wing pundit Matt Walsh posted a series of tweets accusing the hospital of opening its transgender healthcare clinic because it was profitable. 

As a result, VUMC received an influx of hate following the false reports about its trans healthcare programme. 

Carlson described staff at the hospital as “criminals” who shouldn’t be shocked that “they’re getting threatening phone calls”.

“Vanderbilt University Medical Center took its entire website offline and no doubt at some point they’ll be claiming it’s unsafe for them, that the people who are shocked by what they’re doing are actually the criminals here and that they’re getting threatening phone calls,” he ranted. 

“They’re going to call the DOJ and anyone who comments on it is going to get a visit from the FBI.”

‘Naming them one by one’

The Fox News host accused the hospital of not protecting children because “it’s just too profitable to destroy the lives of kids”.

He then left images of VUMC’s board of directors on the screen and named them one by one as he wanted them to “do something to stop these crimes”. 

Boston Children’s Hospital was forced to lockdown after a bomb threat following a campaign of lies about its trans youth healthcare services programme. Carlson accused the hospital of “playing the victim” after receiving the horrific threat. 

Many people on social media were appalled by Tucker Carlson’s comments, especially as the rise in violent threats to hospitals providing gender-affirming care is all too real. 

Tucker Carlson ended his hateful segment by saying that hospitals like Boston Children’s Hospital and VUMC should be stopped immediately “no matter how much it costs them”.

VUMC said it is “now the subject of social media posts and a video that misrepresents facts” about the care its medical centre provides to trans patients. 

“VUMC began its Transgender Health Clinic because transgender individuals are a high-risk population for mental and physical health issues and have been consistently underserved by the US health system,” the hospital said. 

The hospital added it has been, and will continue to be, committed to providing “family-centred care” to all patients in compliance with state law and in line with professional practice standards as well as guidance from medical specialty societies. 

Protestors stood outside of Boston Children's Hospital to face off with anti-trans protesters

Protestors stood outside of Boston Children’s Hospital to face off with anti-trans protesters. (Getty)

Study after study has shown trans youth who have access to gender-affirming healthcare are significantly less likely to experience depression and anxiety and consider suicide than those who are barred from such treatments. 

Research has also found the majority of children who socially transition still identify as trans years later, debunking Carlson’s claims that being trans is a ‘trend’. 

Tennessee governor Bill Lee said the claims against VUMC’s trans healthcare programme are worth investigating despite the hospital denying the misinformation spread by Walsh and Tucker Carlson.