Fox News host Harris Faulkner is getting called out on Twitter for uttering a “blatant” falsehood about the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic as she criticized the protective measures imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Faulkner, who is getting a tryout in former host Tucker Carlson’s old prime time slot, claimed schools didn’t close in 1918.
School closures were not only common in 1918, studies have found they were effective in reducing the excess death rate from the so-called Spanish flu ― and so many people responded that a “community note” correcting the misinformation was appended.
“We didn’t even have penicillin back then,” Faulkner said. Penicillin isn’t used for flu, as antibiotics do not work against viruses. “We did sacrifice. We suffered. But then we pressed on.”
That “sacrifice” included 50 million dead globally, including 675,000 in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Harris clarified her comments after the show, focusing on the fact that some schools remained open during the 1918 pandemic, and saying that she invoked penicillin because “many flu deaths were caused by secondary, bacterial infections that take root in the weakened body, leading to pneumonia.”
Twitter users called out Faulkner for her comments on the broadcast: