Ex-Drag Race judge Santino Rice denies tweeting ‘there’s no difference between injecting disinfectant and a random vaccine’
Santino Rice, the former Drag Race judge, said hackers were behind a string of bizarre tweets comparing vaccines to Donald Trump’s universally-debunked suggestion of injecting disinfectant to combat coronavirus.
The reality TV personality, who was a judge on the first six season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, apologised after his Twitter account was used to share a series of anti-vaxx messages.
“There really is no difference between injecting disinfectant or injecting a random vaccine,” one of the now-deleted tweets read.
“This, I believe, is the silver lining.
“Make sure to let me know how wrong I am. But then do some research to prove me wrong.”
Santino Rice’s ‘hacked’ tweets suggested vaccines are as safe as injecting disinfectant.
The tweets referred to Donald Trump’s wild suggestion that disinfectants could be used to treat coronavirus, “by an injection inside or almost a cleaning”.
The president’s words sparked frenzied warnings from healthcare experts and bleach companies, who stressed the life-threatening dangers of ingesting household cleaners. Trump later claimed he was being sarcastic in his statement, but this has been widely dismissed.
A subsequent tweet from Rice’s account, shared after much criticism, read: “People who disagree with my earlier tweet regarding vaccines only want to tell me how ignorant I am.
“Instead of trying to educate on why they think injecting random chemicals into the body is a good thing, they try to attack me and leave hateful messages. LOL.”
The final message in the string climbed down somewhat from the anti-vaccine rhetoric, reading: “You didn’t understand what I said. I would no sooner inject a vaccine as I would a disinfectant.”
After removing the messages, Rice told followers that he “was hacked and just got control of my account”.
He said he will “need some time to figure out what happened” and apologised to all those “angered or confused” by the messages.
Hello Folks~ I was hacked and just got control of my account. I will need some time to figure out what happened. My apologies to anyone who was angered or confused by tweets that were posted here. It took me awhile to figure out what was happening. I’m glad that it’s not worse.
— Santino Rice (@SANTINORICE) April 28, 2020
Former Drag Race judge has previously said he ‘doesn’t trust where vaccines come from’.
Prior to the now-deleted posts, Rice has used his Twitter account to rally against the use of vaccines on children a number of times.
“I don’t trust the doctors administering the vaccines,” he wrote on July 1, 2016. “I don’t trust where the vaccines come from. I don’t trust pharmaceutical companies.”
He added: “I’m not against vaccines. I’m against the amount vaccines and the way the vaccines are being forced upon children at such a young age.
This was one of 10 tweets which used the hashtag #SB277, a reference to a California law which removed “personal belief exemptions” that allowed parents to send their kids to school unvaccinated.
More recently, between September and October 2019, Rice shared a pair of tweets implying a potential link between vaccines and cancer.
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On September 13, he shared an article about the FDA recalling blood pressure pills which had been tainted with a probably carcinogen.
“But don’t worry, those vaccines that they are injecting into your baby are all totally fine,” he wrote.
The Cancer Research Institute states clearly that vaccines do not cause cancer. In fact, some vaccines can prevent cancers caused by viruses.
The UK’s independent fact checking charity, Full Fact, corroborates this, explaining that multiple studies have confirmed there is no link between vaccines and cancer, and explaining that vaccines are trialed over a number of years to monitor any side effects, including cancer.
PinkNews has contacted Santino Rice for comment.