Sinclair segment suggesting Dr. Fauci 'manufactured' the coronavirus put on hold 'after further review'

Sinclair segment suggesting Dr. Fauci 'manufactured' the coronavirus put on hold 'after further review'
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, addresses a briefing on the latest information about the Coronavirus Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, in the James S. Brady Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

Sinclair Broadcasting is the second largest television conglomerate in the nation. It controls over 190 television stations in over 100 market areas. Since taking control of those stations, Sinclair has often forced them to run conservative commentary, often embedded into local news programming. Those local news programs have also been remodeled on many stations, forced to present a viewpoint that mirrors the ultra right wing position of Sinclair’s principal owners.

Among the programs that appears on Sinclair stations is a segment called “America This Week" hosted by frequent Fox News commentator Eric Bolling. In the segment that’s airing this week across the nation, Bolling interviews discredited researcher Judy Mikovits, the central figure in the conspiracy theory film Plandemic. Mikovits’ woo-filled statements include claims that: The virus behind COVID-19 was man-made; hospitals are being bribed to over-report COVID-19 deaths;  wearing a mask “activates your own virus”; and that getting a flu shot not only increases the odds of catching COVID-19, but "If you've ever had a flu vaccine, you were injected with coronaviruses."

But what’s even more upsetting than this stack of information is the chyron that runs though the whole segment, because what it suggests that Dr. Anthony Fauci created the virus.

Saturday, Jul 25, 2020 · 3:45:57 PM Eastern Daylight Time · Mark Sumner

Sinclair has put the brakes on this broadcast. It seems like there might be someone who doesn’t have complete faith in Eric Bolling’s team.

It would be hard for anyone with any kind of medical training, scientific knowledge, or plain common sense to take Mikovits seriously, as her statements wander into how beachgoers don’t catch the virus because of “healing microbes” and just strolling on the sand can protect people because of “sequences.” Which are not a thing.

But even people who never saw Mikovits’ original propaganda piece are spouting watered-down versions of Plandemic’s statements that have been widely shared through social media. Often, unsurprisingly, by some of the same people who support the QAnon conspiracy.

As CNN reports, during Bolling’s interview with Mikovits, the ex-researcher insists that the SARS-CoV-2 virus didn’t really originate in China. Instead, she claims that for a decade Dr. Fauci has “manufactured” viruses and shipped them to a lab in Wuhan, China. Attorney Larry Klayman, who appears on the same program, also insists that the “origins of the coronavirus” are in the United States.

Bolling then follows up with Fox News contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier, and while the two do express doubt that Fauci cooked up the SARS-CoV-2 virus, they also go on speculate about its origins with repeated references to the virus being "man-made within a laboratory.”

When questioned about the interview, Bolling denied that he had seen Plandemic or even knew about it before he booked Mikovits for his show, but says he doesn’t “second guess his bookers.”

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