A program promoting a conspiracy theory that Dr. Anthony Fauci is responsible for creating the coronavirus is expected to air on local television stations across the country. CNN reports that stations owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group will air the conspiracy theory, which has been dubbed 'Plandemic.' Fauci, the country's leading expert on infectious diseases, has recently faced scrutiny from the White House.
While the conspiracy theory has already been discredited, it will air across these local stations as part of the program America This Week hosted by Eric Bolling. Worryingly, a recent survey by the Pew Research Group indicated that Americans see local news stations as an essential source of news regarding COVID-19, with many trusting these smaller stations over big media companies.
In the program, Bolling speaks with medical researcher Judy Mikovits, who has already been discredited. A video of her spreading the 'Plandemic' conspiracy theory was banned from Facebook and YouTube earlier this year. The segment on America This Week continually flashes an on-screen graphic that reads, "DID DR. FAUCI CREATE COVID-19?" Bolling also speaks with right-wing lawyer Larry Klayman, who has a history of helping spread misinformation and is not coincidentally Mikovits' attorney.
Mikovits has pushed the claim that Fauci has "manufactured" the virus, which she says he shipped to Wuhan, the Chinese city that was ground zero for the outbreak. While Bolling does challenge Mikovits for a brief moment, calling her theory a "hefty claim," he continued to allow her to spread the information. Klayman joined in on the conspiracy theory claims, stating that he believed the virus originated in the United States. Bolling did not challenge Klayman at all.
Later on in the program, Bolling spoke to Fox News medical contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier, who said it was "highly unlikely" Fauci created the virus. However, she and Bolling did suggest it was "manmade within a laboratory," only to escape later. Experts have continually refuted this claim, as Live Science reported. Bolling told CNN that he talked to Mikovits on the show to "question and challenge her beliefs," and that he isn't behind the on-screen graphics present during the show. He proceeded to claim that he did not know about the viral 'Plandemic' conspiracy theory video Mikovitis prominently featured in earlier this year.
"I don't know of any video she was in prior to or after appearing on my show. Frankly, I was shocked when she made the accusation," Bolling explained. "I asked our producers to add Saphier to the show for the express purpose of debunking the conspiracy theory. I believe viewers see that I did not and do not endorse her theory. give you my word... this is the first I've heard of the video. And the very first time I heard of Dr. Mikovits was the morning of taping."
There has been a right-wing campaign against Dr. Anthony Fauci building over the past few months, and just recently, it has resulted in his family receiving very serious threats. "As much as people inappropriately, I think, make me somewhat of a hero...there are people who get really angry at thinking I’m interfering with their life because I’m pushing a public health agenda," he explained in an interview with CNN's David Axelrod on his The Axe Files podcast. "It's tough," he said. "Serious threats against me, against my wife, against my daughters. I mean, really? Is this the United States of America?"