CNN host Brianna Keilar gave an empassioned six-minute speech on Thursday night’s edition of CNN’s Newsroom denouncing Fox News and its guests for the nonstop barrage of fake news and misinformation about COVID-19 that oozes from the network on a daily basis.
“We have pointed out before how millions of Americans are relying on Fox News to get their coronavirus information or misinformation, I should say, and that includes the president,” Keilar began. “The biggest names on that network have helped politicize this pandemic, making misleading or false claims about everything from masks, to social distancing, to treatments for the virus.”
People that “only watched Fox News,” Keilar said, “might think that hydroxychloroquine is to coronavirus is what Tylenol is to a headache, or that gathering in large crowds withouth masks indoors is safe, or that Democrats want schools and businesses to be closed forever. And why would you think that?”
Keilar played a clip of a Fox guest claiming, falsely, that “masks do nothing” and that the “virus is going away… through herd immunity.” In fact, masks substaintially reduce the risk of viral transmission, and achieving so-called herd immunity where the virus burns itselfout by infecting pretty much everyone – would result in millions of American casualties. The other guest on the Fox panel said that outcome was as likely as an asteroid hitting the Earth in December and wiping out a million people.
There is no scientific basis for this claim, which as Keilar pointed out, has been touted by President Donald Trump numerous times.
Keilar said discouraging mask usage was akin to telling people to “go ahead and smoke, it’s healthy for you.” Sadly, that too was a school of though to which Vice President Mike Pence once, or possibly still, subscribes.
“Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill,” Pence wrote in a 2001 editorial that was published on his congressional campaign’s website.
“We would save more than 120,000” of the 400,000 people that are projected to lose their lives to the coronavirus by January, Keilar said.
“It’s like they don’t even bother looking at the facts before they go on TV,” Keilar quipped, noting that “the models, they have been wrong, but not in the way those guests claim.”
Two-hundred-thousand Americans have died since the pandemic began, far greater than most models, including those used by the White House, predicted.
“These are lives that they are not being truthful about. These are families – destroyed – that they are lying about,” Keilar said.
She then tore into the aforementioned Fox News panel for accusing experts of “trying to panic the country, because nearly 200,000 Americans dying in seven months is actually what, no big deal? Is that what he’s saying? Case numbers and death numbers ebb and flow because this pandemic is coming in waves.”
With almost 6.7 million reported cases in the United States so far, “those numbers are still not low, just because they’re lower than they consistently were this summer” Keilar said, adding that “38,000 cases a day” are being recorded.
“On Tuesday the US saw the highest number of deaths in a month, and COVID is about to collide with the flu season, a ‘twindemic’ as the New Jersey health commissioner put it,” Keilar said.
“Consider this: we have lost almost 200,000 people, right, and that’s taken place in less than eight months? We are expected to lose just as many in half the amount of time by the end of the year, and that is based on models that have so far low-balled the number,” Keilar continued.
She then condemned the politicization of masks by Trump, despite officials within his own administration pleading for people to wear them.
“When CDC Director and Dr. Redfield testified under oath that masks could be more powerful than a vaccine,” Keilar said, “he was actually giving a lifeline to the president’s reelection chances by saying this.”
Masks “are the most important, powerful public health tool we have. We have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our best defense. I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine,” Redfield said at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Wednesday.
But Trump “responded to that by demeaning Redfield and slapping him down and Fox News ran with it. They enabled it,” said Keilar.
“Misinformation is a virus unto itself,” Keilar concluded, “and Fox News is the vector.”
Watch the full clip below:
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.