Sinclair pulls show where Fauci conspiracy theory is aired

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 havent even begun to see the end of it yet, Fauci said during a talk hosted by Stanford Universitys School of Medicine. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

NEW YORK – The Sinclair Broadcast Group said Saturday it is pulling from the air an edition of its “America This Week” program that discusses a conspiracy theory involving Dr. Anthony Fauci and the coronavirus.

Sinclair spokesman Michael Padovano said Sinclair hopes to add context and other viewpoints and still air the controversial segment on the next week's edition of “America This Week."

Meanwhile, Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, talked in detail in a new podcast about the “serious threats” and hate mail directed his way.

“America This Week” is hosted by Eric Bolling, a former Fox News Channel personality, and sent to stations Sinclair owns in 81 markets. The show it initially distributed for this weekend's show featured an interview with Judy Mikovits, maker of the widely discredited “Plandemic” video, and her lawyer, Larry Klayman.

Mikovits, an anti-vaccine activist, said she believed that Fauci manufactured the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and shipped it to China. There has been no evidence that the virus was produced in a lab, much less any of Fauci's involvement.

Bolling did not push back on the claim, or show any evidence of checking its veracity. He followed up with a segment interviewing radiologist Dr. Nicole Saphier, a Fox News contributor, who said she thought Fauci “in no way, shape or form has been involved in the manufacture of this virus.”

During the segment, first revealed by Media Matters for America, a chyron on the bottom of the screen read “Did Dr. Fauci create coronavirus?"

Bolling told CNN Business that he wasn't even aware of the “Plandemic” video before his bookers arranged for Mikovits' appearance. He told CNN that “frankly, I was shocked when she made the accusation.” He said he brought Saphier on to challenge what he called a “hefty” charge.