He argued that such mandates "forbid kids from getting an education."
"Why are schools doing this and is it a good idea? From a medical standpoint, it's hard to understand the reasoning behind this," said Carlson on his show at Fox News Monday night, May 3.
"As a group, young people are not at risk of dying from COVID. Maybe more significant, huge numbers of college students have already been infected with the coronavirus. We know that. And therefore, they have natural immunity to it."
Carlson hinted that it may be a part of a larger plan to get everyone vaccinated.
"Just because there is no official federal requirement to take the coronavirus vaccine does not mean that you and your family won't be required to take it," he said. "With the full backing of the Biden administration, private industry and nonprofits may be forcing you to."
A CNN tally published over the weekend showed more than 100 colleges and universities around the U.S. have announced that they will require students to provide proof of vaccination before returning to campus in the fall. (Related: Columbia, Yale forcing students to get vaccinated for Covid-19.)
"Colleges across the country have announced that they will require vaccine passports in the fall. Students who can't show proof of COVID vaccination will not be allowed on campus," Carlson said. "You can see where this is going, and at high speed. Soon, virtually all college students in America will be required to take the COVID vaccine. In effect, it is a national mandate."
A recent Quinnipiac University poll showed 36 percent of U.S. adults under the age of 35 are not planning to get vaccinated. They make up the majority of student population in colleges and universities in the country.
Another recent survey by Stat-Harris Poll found that 21 percent of young adults ages 18 to 24 were not willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Another 34 percent said they would "wait awhile and see" before getting vaccinated.
Carlson clarified that he wasn't saying students shouldn't get vaccinated, but rather they shouldn't be forced to.
"It's not a question of the vaccine. You may want the vaccine for yourself and your children, you may not. It's a question of being forced to take it," he said. "If we allow ourselves to be forced to take it, what next?"
According to Carlson, the university vaccine mandates were driven by Democrats.
"They found our pressure point. If you disobey us, we will prevent your children from being educated," he said. "That will work, by the way. Because short of arrest and imprisonment, keeping children out of school is the most coercive measurement the authorities could take."
The Fox News pundit pointed to a public service announcement former President Barack Obama posted on TikTok encouraging young people to get the vaccine as an example of Democratic overreach. Obama touted the safety of the country's COVID-19 vaccines in the 35-second video that first appeared on the Yahoo News TikTok account.
The list of colleges and universities mandating students to get vaccinated has grown in the span of few weeks since a handful of schools announced the policy.
Rutgers University in New Jersey and Cornell University in upstate New York were among the first universities to announce that COVID-19 vaccination would be a requirement for students who want to study in-person during the fall semester.
Columbia University in New York, Yale University in Connecticut, Brown University in Rhode Island, Northeastern University in Boston, Nova Southeastern University in Florida and Fort Lewis College in Colorado and Duke University in North Carolina also joined the growing list.
Antonio Calcado, chief operating officer at Rutgers, said the university's leadership team made its decision when President Joe Biden announced that all adults would be eligible for vaccination by the end of May. The public university in New Jersey is one of the largest in the country with roughly 36,000 undergraduates and 16,000 more in graduate students on its campus in New Brunswick.
"It doesn't just make us safer. In the end, it makes our entire community safer," Calcado said. "That's why we think requiring is the way to go versus encouraging."
Calcado sees three good reasons to require student vaccinations: One, their population interacts with others often; two, they tend to be mobile; and three, safety precautions may not be students' top concern.
Private colleges and universities in New England were also some of the first to announce vaccine mandate. University systems in neighboring states have been less explicit with at least one saying it will wait until COVID-19 vaccines are given permanent approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before considering whether to make vaccination a requirement for students.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst will require "all undergraduate and graduate students who wish to live, learn or conduct research on campus or access campus resources to be fully vaccinated prior to the beginning of the fall semester." The same goes for UMass Lowell, UMass Dartmouth and UMass Boston.
The presidents of the nine state universities in Massachusetts – Bridgewater, Fitchburg, Framingham, Salem, Westfield, Worcester, Massachusetts College of Art & Design, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy – also unanimously decided to require vaccination for the fall.
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