Sinclair says it won’t air Fauci conspiracy theory segment

Anthony Fauci, Mike Pence, Deborah Birx

FILE – In this June 26, 2020, file photo Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, center, speaks as Vice President Mike Pence, right, and Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, left, listen during a news conference with members of the Coronavirus task force at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington. Fauci has warned that the United States could soon see 100,000 infections per day. “We haven’t even begun to see the end of it yet,” Fauci said during a talk hosted by Stanford University’s School of Medicine. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

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NEW YORK (AP) — The Sinclair Broadcast Group says it will not air a segment on its “America This Week” program in which a conspiracy theorist speculates about Dr. Anthony Fauci and the coronavirus.

Over the weekend, Sinclair said it was delaying the story for a week after it attracted media attention.

But in a tweet late Monday, Sinclair said that given the nature of Judy Mikovits’ claims to correspondent Eric Bolling, the segment was “not appropriate” to air.

“We also reiterate our appreciation for all that Dr. Fauci and his team have accomplished for the health and well-being of Americans and people worldwide,” said Sinclair. The company owns local television stations in 81 markets across the country.

Mikovits, maker of the widely debunked “Plandemic” video, had told Bolling that she believed Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, had manufactured the virus that causes COVID-19 and shipped it to China.

She presented no evidence to back up her theory because there is none.

Despite Sinclair telling its stations on Saturday not to air the interview, the lobbying group Media Matters for America said that it was shown on WCHS-TV, a Sinclair-owned ABC affiliate in Charleston, West Virginia. Media Matters first uncovered the segment last week.

Sinclair offered an “open invite” to Fauci to appear on any of its stations.

The broadcast group is known for pushing a conservative viewpoint through editorials and reports that it compels its stations to run.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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