NEW YORK (Dagbladet): Anthony Fauci is one of America’s foremost infection control experts and has become a very famous face during the corona pandemic.
To many, he is a hero. But at times he has come into conflict with US President Donald Trump, who has had a strong desire to tone down the pandemic. Many Trump supporters have therefore identified Fauci as a kind of enemy, and the Trump administration even came up with open attacks on its own expert until recently, reports AP.
Thus, Fauci has also become a target for completely unfounded conspiracy theories.
Fauci, for his part, says that he is only trying to convey the facts in a clear way. Recently, on the podcast, Fauci told David Axelrod that he and his family now had to live with bodyguards.
On Saturday, Sinclair turned Broadcast Group, which operates hundreds of local ABC and Fox channels across the United States. Now they want to postpone and rework a feature that according to the plan should have been sent this weekend. The feature claims that Fauci was responsible for developing the coronavirus, CNN reports.
According to the plan, the conspiracy theory should have been broadcast on TV channels all over the United States in the program “America This Week”, which is led by Eric Bolling. On Saturday, Sinclair sent a note to its 193 television channels not to broadcast this program.
– After a thorough review of the planned episode this week, it is clear that we need to give further context to the very controversial feature about the covid pandemic and Dr. Fauci. To achieve our goal of being an open and honest marketplace for ideas and views – even incredibly controversial ones – we need to rework the feature to make sure viewers get the best information available, says Sinclair News Vice President Scott Livingston in a statement.
The episode, which was first posted on Sinclair’s website, has also been removed.
Bolling, who is also a well-known face from Fox News, is the host of the controversial program. There he interviews the discredited researcher Judy Mikovits. She is a vaccine opponent and among other things known for her role in the conspiracy theory video “Plandemic”, which became known earlier this spring, and which was eventually removed from platforms such as Facebook and Youtube. During the feature with Mikovits, there is a text below the TV picture with the question: – Did Dr. Fauci create covid-19?
Mikovits claims in the feature that Fauci has developed and sent the coronavirus to Wuhan in China. Bolling comments that this is a “hefty claim”, but does not challenge her further. There is no evidence that the coronavirus was developed in a laboratory, and there is obviously no evidence that Fauci has been involved in any way. On the contrary, he is a highly regarded infection control expert, having worked for all presidents since Ronald Reagan.
After CNN covered the feature on Friday, local TV channels across the United States began receiving complaints from viewers who did not want their local channel to broadcast it.
On Saturday morning, Sinclair first defended the feature as a matter of freedom of expression before later turning around. On Twitter they explain why. They also defend Fauci.
Bolling first defended the feature, but turned around on Saturday. He himself claims that he was taken to bed by the allegations.
– I acknowledge that the feature needs to be reworked to provide a better context, and therefore we postpone the episode by one week. Let me also say that I have enormous respect for Dr. Fauci and see him as the leading expert on this subject. In the last two months, I have consistently tried to get Dr. Fauci on the air so that he can provide critically important information about the virus to the public. That invitation is still open, Bolling told CNN.
– Serious threats
Fauci has received a lot of criticism from Trump and his supporters. In an interview with the podcast of David Axelrod, “The Ax Files”, he also revealed that he had received serious threats and lived with bodyguards.
– I receive not only hate mail, but actual serious threats against me, against my family, against my daughter, against my wife. There are people who are really angry because they think I am interfering with their lives by pushing a health agenda, says Fauci, according to AP.
The 79-year-old was also central in the work on the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and now describes the atmosphere as much angrier.
– I can very well understand that you have to be careful with the negative consequences of shutting down a society. That is understandable, and that is why we are all trying to reopen America in a safe way. But that hostility to public health issues is not only difficult to understand, but it is difficult to process at all, Fauci tells Axelrod.
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