Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen criticized Merriam-Webster after the dictionary company updated the definition of "anti-vaxxer."
Thiessen claimed Merriam-Webster does not have the right to change the definiton of the word because the company is not comprised of public health experts.
It all began after Fox News host Dana Perino told Thiessen—a speechwriter for former President George W. Bush as well as former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld—about the change.
"There is a new definition in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary."
"This is not a joke, folks."
"A change of the definition of an anti-vaxxer to a person who opposes the use of vaccines or regulations mandating vaccinations."
You can hear what Thiessen said in response in the video below.
Turning to Thiessen, Perino added:
"You are a wordsmith."
"I know that having worked with you in the past."
"This makes no sense.”
It was here when Thiessen lashed out at the dictionary company:
"No, it doesn’t [make sense]."
"Who appointed Merriam-Webster?"
"I didn’t realize they were public health experts to decide what is the definition of an anti-vaxxer.”
A spokesperson for Merriam-Webster had earlier told USA Today one word was changed to clarify anti-vaxxers oppose "regulations" mandating vaccines as well as "laws."
Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster's Editor-at-Large, explained that "overwhelming citational evidence" influenced the change:
"The reason for the change from 'laws' to 'regulations' is that overwhelming citational evidence shows that this term is used regarding vaccine policies for school districts, restaurants, concert venues and bars, and that many of these policies are not laws."
A dictionary's basic purpose is to define words, a fact not lost on many who have criticized Thiessen for his statements.
The irony is that for all of Thiessen's complaints that Merriam-Webster's editors are not public health experts, he has made every effort to undermine public health experts who have been hard at work informing American citizens about the latest developments throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
For instance, Thiessen has previously stated that people who have survived COVID-19 have better immunity than the vaccinated.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has long debunked claims natural immunity is more beneficial than the vaccine.
In fact, a study published in August showed "unvaccinated individuals are more than twice as likely to be reinfected with COVID-19 than those who were fully vaccinated after initially contracting the virus."
It also pointed out COVID-19 vaccines "offer better protection than natural immunity alone and that vaccines, even after prior infection, help prevent reinfections."