Dr. Anthony Fauci: Some of Fox News' COVID-19 ‘misinformation’ is ‘outlandish’

Brace yourself for the latest COVID-19 predictions: You're not going to like them
President Donald J. Trump listens as Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, addresses his remarks during a meeting with fellow members of the Coronavirus Task Force and representatives from pharmaceutical companies Monday March 2, 2020, in the Cabinet Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

When MSNBC and CNN were reporting, earlier this year, that COVID-19 was shaping up to be the worst global health crisis since the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918/1919, many of the opinion hosts at Fox News were downplaying its severity and claiming that the media coverage of the novel coronavirus was overblown — and months later, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, parts of the right-wing cable news outlet continue to be a source of dangerous misinformation.

Fauci, an expert immunologist and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on CNN on Monday, September 28 and told Brian Stelter, "If you listen to Fox News — with all due respect to the fact that they do have some good reporters — some of the things that they report there are outlandish, to be honest with you."

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

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