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Monday, May 18, 2020
WND Touts Dubious, Conspiracy-Laden Coronavirus Videos
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is keeping up its conspiratorial reputation by coming to the defense of the stars of conspiracy- and misinformation-laden videos that have been heavily criticized on social media.

IN an April 27 article, WND touted a video by "two California physicians with advanced degrees in microbiology," Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, who "contend that their testing of more than 5,200 patients along with public data show the coronavirus is no more deadly than the seasonal flu and that the sheltering-in-place policy in the United States and most of the Western world not only is unnecessary, it's harmful." WND didn't fact-check the video and, thus, tell readers that, as we detailed, actual experts say the doctors' patient sample was not representative of the general population, with one likening it to "estimating the average height of Americans from the players on an NBA court."

The next day, Art Moore wrote about how YouTube removed Erickson and Massihi's video,conspiratorially suggesting that it was removed for going against "World Health Organization recommendations" and failing to mention any of the actual experts who have discredited the video. Michael Brown cited YouTube's removal of the video in his April 29 column, conspiratorially adding that "disputed opinions offered by medical doctors (in this case, emergency room doctors) will be banned." He too failed to mention the experts who discredited the video.

WND then found a new person to play victim: Judy Mikovits, who once worked with Dr. Anthony Fauci and has made a video that was similarly removed by YouTube. An anonymously written May 6 article benignly describes Mikovits' video as arguing that "the isolate-everyone policy is a big mistake and claims officials have a financial incentive to implement mass vaccinations."

Because Mikovits seems to be running in the history of video-making charlatans WND has promoted in the past, it's giving her a platform without any of that pesky fact-checking WND isn't exactly known for. The article claims that "Mikovits claims Fauci was among the top health officials who framed her and destroyed her career because of her contrary views," adding:

She published a "blockbuster" study claiming "the common use of animal and human fetal tissues were unleashing devastating plagues of chronic diseases."

"Big Pharma" then waged struck back, destroying her "good name, career and personal life."

Mikovits, interviewed by Mikki Willis, says she was framed and arrested at her home, falsely accused of stealing intellectual property.

In fact, the "blockbuster" study was retracted by the journal that published it because its results could not be replicated by other researchers and that it appears her samples were contaminated. Further, while theft charges against her were eventually dropped -- not necesariliy because they weren't true but, rather, because the institute she worked for was embroiiled in other legal difficulties -- a lab employee signed an affidavit that he had removed notebooks from the lab and eventually delivered them to Mikovits.

WND also noted that Mikovits claims that a coronavirus vaccine "will kill millions, as they already have with their vaccines," before adding, "Mikovits emphasizes, however, she is not against vaccines, noting she is an immunologist." In fact, Mikovits is part of the anti-vaxxer community and once wrote a book with anti-vaxxer Kent Heckenlively.

As per usual, WND couldn't  be bothered to fact-check the video, even though it contains numerous false claims.

So ...  business as usual for WND. Which is a bad thing for WND, since that kind of business is what drove WND to its current state of barely being in business.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EDT

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