Mapping the spread of COVID-19 near Sinclair Broadcasting stations spewing Coronavirus conspiracy theories

4 mins read

“Baseless conspiracy theories about the novel coronavirus and Dr. Anthony Fauci, found a platform on the new episode of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s America This WeekThe segment aired on at least one local station based in Charleston, West Virginia.” – Media Matters.

“Sinclair Media Group, a right-wing organization that operates nearly 200 television stations that reach 40% of Americans, recorded and published an interview with Mikovits in which she suggested that COVID-19 was created by Fauci.” – Popular Information 

We analyzed the spread of COVID-19 around Charleston where this segment was broadcast by Sinclair. What responsibility does Sinclair bear when it broadcasts information that hurts public health?

Background
“Mikovits gained notoriety after she made multiple false and misleading claims about the coronavirus and public health in Plandemic. Mikovits argued that mandatory coronavirus vaccines will “kill millions as they already have with their vaccines,” and falsely claimed that “flu vaccines increase the odds by 36% of getting COVID-19” and are part of a plot against what filmmaker Mikki Willis called “natural remedies” for the virus. Mikovits also asserted that it’s “insanity” to close beaches because somehow the sand and “healing microbes in the ocean” will actually help treat the virus. She also touted antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the virus, despite multiple studies casting doubt on its efficacy, and she and the film pushed the false claim that the death count from COVID-19 is being inflated. The news magazine Science also reported that Mikovits made false claims about Fauci and her own credentials in the film, and FactCheck.org explained that she made false claims about face masks and Ebola. At the end of May, Mikovits also defended a bogus bleach product as a treatment for COVID-19. YouTube, Facebook, and multiple other platforms have removed Plandemic from their sites for containing potentially harmful misinformation about COVID-19.” – Media Matters

Details
This video by Dr. Judy Mikovits appeared on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s America This Week via WCHS in Charleston, West Virginia. How responsible is to broadcast such conspiracy theories in a county with 20 Coronavirus deaths already (as of July 27), 683 total cases and 262 COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days? This is the current state of affairs near Charleston.

Counties are shown in five shades corresponding to their COVID-19 status:
– Emergent – New cases for the first time or in counties that have had zero new cases for 60 or more days.
– Spreading – Low to moderate rates of new cases each day. Likely controlled by local policies and individuals taking measures such as wearing masks and curtailing unnecessary activities.
– Epidemic – Accelerating and uncontrolled rates of new cases.
– Controlled – Very low rates of new cases.
– End Stage – One or fewer new cases every 5 days in larger populations and fewer in rural areas.

Click or tap on a county to see the key statistics contributing to the trend. The COVID-19 esri map is updated daily with data from Johns Hopkins University CSSEUS Cases by County dashboard and USAFacts for Utah County level Data. Check on this map to see how close you are to a Sinclair Broadcasting station. The yellow dots represent Sinclair Broadcasting stations and affiliates.

Takeaway
Always consider the source especially when it concerns your health. Don’t believe everything you hear – especially if it comes a broadcast network with a political agenda. Your life may depend on it!

Deepak
Democracy Labs

Image credit: Unsplash
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