Far-right Fox News host Tucker Carlson has used his primetime slot to encourage vaccine skepticism and conspiracy theories regarding the pandemic that's killed over 600 thousand people.
This week, Carlson amplified the conspiracy theory that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases and a favorite enemy of the right-wing, "created" the virus.
Referring to Fauci, Carlson said:
"Take it from the guy who created COVID. Watch this."
The delusion that Fauci is responsible for the pandemic developed after news that the National Institute of Health (NIH) funded a grant for the U.S.-based EcoHealth Alliance to study coronavirus in bats, which then conducted research with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Rutgers University professor Dr. Richard Ebright, claimed that research conducted between EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute on bat coronaviruses violated a 2014 moratorium on gain-of-function research—a claim heavily disputed by Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard molecular biologist Alina Chan.
It's also uncertain whether the virus developed out of a lab in the first place.
Fauci has emphatically, categorically denied that the NIH funded any gain-of-function research, but that hasn't stopped Republican media personalities like Carlson from running wild with the claim that Fauci was responsible.
Some said Carlson's words amounted to slander—and they want Fauci to sue.
People were enraged by Carlson's latest lie.
It's unclear if Fauci plans to take any legal action, or if Fox will reprimand Carlson for blatant disinformation. But, if history is indication for the latter, Carlson will probably face no consequences.