A White House reporter recently got caught making some shocking new coronavirus claims while on a hot mic. Earlier this week Fox News' John Roberts and New York Times photographer Doug Mills were seen and heard talking about the pandemic on camera while at one of President Donald Trump's coronavirus press briefings. At one point, Roberts is heard telling Mills that he "can take off the mask" he's wearing because "the case fatality rate is 0.1 to 0.3 according to USC."
Mills replies, "Is it really? That's reassuring," later adding how "everybody here's been vaccinated anyway." Roberts goes on to claim that a "USC and LA County public health study found that there may have been between 221,000 - 442,000 actually infected with Covid-19 in Los Angeles, rather than the 7,000 originally believed — which would strongly dilute the mortality rate." A third voice is then heard asking if "that puts it right in line with the flu?" to which Mills inquires, "So it was a hoax?" Roberts replies, "I don't think it was a hoax..."
Fox News John Roberts tells the man he can take the mask off because the fatality rate is a hoax. There are many more cases that are not known and that's making the death rate look much worse.
Then the man in the mask says "everyone here has been vaccinated anyways." pic.twitter.com/MBTdmJ0fV3— 😷Please Stay Home😷 (@Bill_Maxwell_) April 21, 2020
The clip has since given fuel to many conspiracies that already revolved around the idea of the virus being a hoax, and many theorists are commenting online. "VACCINATED? [What the f—] is he talking about? Is this why Trump and the rest haven’t caught the virus even tho they have been exposed? Flashing red light!" one angry Twitter user wrote. "I think he said the case fatality rate is .1 or .3??? Case fatality rate refers to the death rate of known cases. It is more like 5% in the US of confirmed cases! He must be talking about infection fatality rate. That is only an estimate based on models with little data yet," someone else offered.
Roberts has since responded to the controversy. On Wednesday, he tweeted out, "Because you asked.....The [USC] [LA Public Health] study is real - but not yet peer-reviewed. The rest of the exchange was sardonic humor and sarcasm... There is NO vaccine. And it is NOT a hoax." At this time, the White House does not appear to have commented on the claims.