Right-wing media and elected officials have repeatedly embraced disinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines, which have proven safe and effective at minimizing the spread of the virus that's killed more than 750 thousand Americans.
They've said these vaccines go "against nature." They've painted efforts to encourage vaccinations through information as equivalent to Nazi atrocities. They've claimed the vaccines are magnetized or the biblical mark of the beast.
And earlier this month, Emerald Robinson—White House correspondent for the far-right disinformation outlet, Newsmax—tweeted a bizarre (and false) theory that the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines contained "LUCIFERASE," which she suggested was a satanic "marker."
Twitter later deleted the tweet for disinformation.
Luciferase is a naturally occurring light-producing enzyme discovered by French pharmacologist Raphaël Dubois in the late 19th century. Though evangelicals like Robinson often associate the name "Lucifer" with Satan, luciferase is named for the Latin words "lux" or "luc-," meaning light and "fer," meaning bringer, so the name for the bioluminescent material translates to "bringer of light." It was used during the research process of the Moderna vaccine but is not in the vaccines themselves.
Twitter soon slapped Robinson with a seven day suspension for peddling potentially dangerous disinformation regarding lifesaving treatment.
By Tuesday, Robinson's account was reinstated, and she immediately doubled down by once again promoting conspiracy theories surrounding Luciferase and other satanic conspiracy theories.
Robinson expanded her paranoia past vaccines, asserting that even COVID tests were secretly satanic.
She wrote on her Substack:
"One more thing: the new COVID-19 antibody test is called SATiN and it uses Luciferase. No, I'm not kidding. Just click here to see for yourself.
Let me repeat that information: the antibody test is called SATiN.
There's something very wrong here. You know it and I know it. You don't have to be a Christian to understand: names matter. It's not an accident that they've given this name to this test. It's a warning."
Soon, Robinson's deranged satanic panic got her permanently banned from Twitter.
People weren't sad to see her go.
Others called for her to have her White House press pass revoked as well.
Robinson still has an entire media company from which to spread her disinformation.