Mikovits claims the coronavirus was man-made and sent to Wuhan
Update, July 26 at 10:30 a.m. ET: Following backlash, Sinclair Broadcasting announced on Saturday they will delay the segment. “We will spend the coming days bringing together other viewpoints and provide additional context,” the company said in a statement Saturday afternoon, per Variety. “All stations have been notified not to air this and will instead be re-airing last week’s episode in its place.”
On the fourth straight day of record-setting deaths in the U.S. due to COVID-19, conservative broadcasting company Sinclair is planning to broadcast parts of the conspiracy video Plandemic over the weekend, as well as interview its discredited scientist, which blames the virus on Dr. Anthony Fauci, Media Matters reports.
⚠️BLOODY HELL—Sinclair-owned local TV stations across US are set to air the discredited "Plandemic" conspiracy theory. The segment that is set to air asserts Fauci is responsible for creation of #COVID19. Boycott @WeAreSinclair! #SinclairAdvertiserBoycott https://t.co/sDQNMm9STM pic.twitter.com/RkNFZtsEDH
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) July 25, 2020
Sinclair owns 275 affiliates of various television networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and the CW, as well as numerous specialty channels. The name might sound familiar: Sinclair was investigated after anchors on various networks were ordered to read Trump-friendly scripts about “irresponsible, one-sided,” and “fake” news stories.
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) March 31, 2018
In this week’s episode of “America This Week” hosted by Eric Bolling, stations around the country will watch as Bolling interviews Judy Mikovits, the medical researcher featured in Plandemic, which has been repeatedly discredited and pulled from platforms such as Facebook and YouTube in May. “Suggesting that wearing a mask can make you sick could lead to imminent harm, so we’re removing the video,” Facebook said at the time.
Throughout the show, a red banner runs at the bottom reading, “DID DR. FAUCI CREATE COVID-19?”
Sinclair honestly might be even more dangerous than Fox News. Unwitting viewers tune in to their seemingly trustworthy local news station and it winds up being a trojan horse for nutty right-wing conspiracy theories.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) July 25, 2020
Bolling, a former Fox News host, claims he’s never seen Plandemic and had never heard of Mikovits prior to his interview, according to CNN. He also said it was “highly unlikely” that Fauci was behind the coronavirus but that it was possible the virus was “man-made within a laboratory” and escaped, which has been debunked by scientists who actually studied it.
Sinclair's @ericbolling told me that he was totally unaware that the guest he invited on his show had starred in the viral "Plandemic" video pushing coronavirus misinfo. He said he doesn't "endorse her theory" but will still air the segment. https://t.co/fehw3e5ogZ pic.twitter.com/YDm5dsd4Ah
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) July 25, 2020
During the video, Mikovits rambled on about how vaccines can damage people’s immune systems, making them more susceptible to illnesses such as COVID-19. She also claims the virus is “activated” by face masks. When asked if she agrees with states closing beaches to help prevent the spread of the virus, Mikovits responded, “Why would you close the beach? You’ve got sequences in the soil, in the sand. You’ve got healing microbes in the ocean in the saltwater. That’s insanity.” There has been no evidence found that microbes in the ocean can heal COVID-19 patients.
The danger of a network airing conspiracy theories that have been debunked by hundreds of scientists is that people believe it. A survey by Pew Research Group earlier this year showed that people view their local news was a reliable source of information on the coronavirus.
People on Twitter are calling for a boycott of the broadcaster’s affiliate stations. If you want to take part, you can file a formal complaint with the FCC here or call your local station and voice your concern.
I hear Sinclair stations are about to air dangerously false propaganda in the form of Plandemic.
Here’s a state by state list of Sinclair owned stations so you can boycott and start petitioning advertisers. https://t.co/62iQcGgvsi
— Kaz Weida (@kazweida) July 25, 2020
For someone like Bolling to dismiss his interview and claim he knew nothing about his guest shows at best he lacks the intellect to understand what is happening in our country regarding the virus, and at worst, he understands it and is choosing to discredit Fauci the same way Trump has been the past several weeks. “I give you my word… this is the first I’ve heard of the video,” Bolling said. “And the very first time I heard of Dr. Mikovits was the morning of taping.”
When asked if the segment should be pulled now that he is aware of who his guests are, Bolling replied: “I don’t second-guess my producers and bookers.”