Media Matters' Kayla Gogarty talks to Listening Post about how Trump and Fox News are misinforming about COVID-19

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Citation From the March 21, 2020, edition of Al Jazeera's Listening Post

RICHARD GIZBERT (HOST): With the coronavirus grinding life to a halt around the world, millions holed up at home, people are desperately searching for reliable information. But what if two primary sources of news -- the government and the most-watched television news channel -- are setting aside medical science in favor of politically driven fiction. That's what Americans are dealing with.

For three years now, President Trump has had the fact-checkers working overtime. But the stream of disinformation on COVID-19 flowing from the White House has not only misled the public on the severity of the threat, it has put lives at risk.

Then there's Fox News, the channel politically aligned with Donald Trump. Its initial attempt to frame the pandemic as a hoax designed to take down the president has also been exposed. As infection rates climb and the death toll mounts Trump finds himself confronted with some facts scientific ones that not even he can deny.


KAYLA GOGARTY (RESEARCHER, MEDIA MATTERS): Trump and his allies try and manipulate the rhetoric and shift blame but they cannot manipulate the virus with the misinformation and we do have a free press here in the United States that will continue to report out statistics of confirmed cases and death rates. And even though we'll be getting that information Trump and right-wing media will definitely continue to shift the blame.


GOGARTY: The administration has been silencing scientific voices since the very start of its administration particularly in regards to climate change and environmental protections. They've been dismantling these scientific agencies particularly in this case Trump had dismantled the office that would have been working on pandemic response.