On Thursday’s episode of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the host trotted out the right-wing talking point that the media only really reported on the coronavirus pandemic as a way to criticize former President Donald Trump when he claimed:
It is Joe Biden’s first day in office, and you know what that means? CNN can finally take that COVID death ticker off the screen. There’s no reason for it now. It’s not like you can blame Joe Biden for some Chinese virus that escaped from a lab in Wuhan. Huh. It wouldn’t be fair. Come on now. CNN dutifully removed it this morning. COVID deaths? Settle down, America. It’s just a bad flu season.
Watch Carlson’s comments below and read a transcript of his falsehood on the Fox News website here.
CNN criticized Carlson for saying it had “‘dutifully removed’ the COVID-19 tracking graphic from our coverage now that President Biden has taken office.”
“That is false,” the network’s communications team responded on Twitter.
“We look forward to his correction tonight,” it added, alongside screenshots of the ticker appearing on-screen multiple times throughout Thursday.
In a second tweet, CNN said the same false claim was spread right after the 2020 election and “it was a lie then too.”
CNN’s fact-checking reporter Daniel Dale also countered Carlson’s false claim.
It’s “entirely false,” he tweeted.
“CNN is still running the tracker, especially during the Covid segments,” Dale added. “It ran the tracker alongside Biden’s own speech yesterday.”
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