Newsmax pulls reporter who tweeted vaccine conspiracy theory off air
Newsmax, a conservative network targeting supporters of former President Trump, has sidelined a reporter who earlier this week floated a baseless conspiracy theory about coronavirus vaccines.
On Monday, Emerald Robinson, a White House correspondent for the outlet, sent out a tweet that erroneously claimed that vaccines “contain a bioluminescent marker called LUCIFERASE so that you can be tracked.”
Twitter took Robinson’s post down for violating the platform’s rules, the social media company said, and Newsmax issued a rare rebuke of one of its leading on-air talents.
“Newsmax is currently reviewing the posts and during that period, Ms. Robinson will not be on air but continue with duties for the network,” the outlet said in a statement to The Hill on Thursday.
Earlier in the week, Elliot Jacobson, executive vice president and chief content officer for the network, said Newsmax has been “a strong proponent that Covid 19 vaccines are overarchingly safe and effective,” and noted Robinson’s claims were never made by her anyone on the network on air.
“We have seen no evidence to suggest LUCIFERASE or LUCIFERIN are present in any vaccines or that they are used as any sort bioluminescent marker,” Jacobson said.
Newsmax is one of several right-wing news agencies and media personalities that have been sued this year by Dominion Voting Systems for allegedly peddling false claims about 2020 election fraud. Its hosts have been openly critical of mask guidance, vaccine mandates and leading public health officials in the Biden administration.
Over the summer, one host suggested being vaccinated against the coronavirus might be “against nature” and asked a guest on his program if some deadly diseases are “supposed to wipe out a certain amount of people.”
“Newsmax as a network strongly supports President Biden’s efforts to widely distribute the COVID vaccine. It is important for the safety of all and especially those at high risk, such as the elderly,” a spokesperson for the company said following that episode. “Medical professionals who have appeared on Newsmax have strongly encouraged Americans to get the vaccine.”
Before joining Newsmax, Robinson was a correspondent for One America News Network.
This article was updated on Nov. 22 at 2:41 p.m.