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Sinclair opts to not air segment with researcher behind 'Plandemic' conspiracy video

Sinclair opts to not air segment with researcher behind 'Plandemic' conspiracy video
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Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBG) said Monday that it would cancel plans to air an interview with a conspiracy theorist who falsely claimed during the segment that Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciUS passes single-day record for new COVID-19 cases Overnight Health Care: Following debate, Biden hammers Trump on coronavirus | Study: Universal mask-wearing could save 130,000 lives | Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight Black Americans don't trust a COVID-19 vaccine — they have valid reasons why MORE, the nation's top coronavirus expert, was responsible for the pandemic.

The company told CNN Business in a statement that a further review of the interview with Judy Mikovits, a former researcher who has made widely-criticized false claims about vaccines, viruses, and COVID-19 concluded that her claims were not "appropriate" for air on "American This Week." The show previously planned to air an expert debunking Mikovits's claims as part of the same program.

"Upon further review, we have decided not to air the interview with Dr. Mikovits," a Sinclair spokesperson told CNN Business. "Although the segment did include an expert to dispute Dr. Mikovits, given the nature of the theories she presented we believe it is not appropriate to air the interview."

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"We also reiterate our appreciation for all that Dr. Fauci and his team have accomplished for the health and wellbeing of Americans and people worldwide," they added. "During this pandemic, Sinclair and its affiliates have positively and prominently  featured Dr. Fauci on air, including interviews with our stations and our network, Stadium. There remains an open invite for Dr. Fauci to appear on our stations any time."

A request for further comment from The Hill was not immediately returned.

In the now-canceled segment Mikovits reportedly told host Eric Bolling that Fauci was responsible for manufacturing and transporting coronaviruses to a lab in Wuhan, China. There is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 was manufactured or manipulated by scientists in any way, or released from a laboratory.

Mikovits and others are responsible for the widely-discredited documentary "Plandemic," which circulates baseless theories about COVID-19 which have led to major platforms including Facebook and Twitter banning the video entirely.

SBG initially defended Bolling's interview with Mikovits on Twitter but moved Saturday to delay the segment from being aired.

“After further review, we have decided to delay this episode's airing,” the company said at the time. “We will spend the coming days bringing together other viewpoints and provide additional context. All stations have been notified not to air this and will instead be re-airing last week’s episode in its place.”

More than 4.2 million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the U.S., much more than any other country, and more than 146,000 Americans have died from the disease since the beginning of 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.