Update (4/27/20): Diamond and Silk are reportedly no longer with Fox News. The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Cartwright and Justin Baragona wrote today that “the sudden split comes after the Trump-boosting siblings have come under fire for promoting conspiracy theories and disinformation about the coronavirus. ‘After what they’ve said and tweeted you won’t be seeing them on Fox Nation or Fox News anytime soon,’ a source with knowledge of the matter told The Daily Beast.”
Right-wing commentators Diamond and Silk are frequent promoters of coronavirus conspiracy theories and false information. The two continue to have a prominent platform because of their roles as hosts for Fox Nation and surrogates for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.
Diamond and Silk have claimed that coronavirus deaths have been inflated; wondered if the virus is “being deliberately spread”; stated that Microsoft founder Bill Gates wants to “rule the world with vaccines” and they won’t take one if he’s involved; argued against social distancing by claiming that “only way we can become immune to the environment” is to “be out in the environment”; asked whether “somebody” could use 5G cellular technology to infect people to ensure that “hospital beds can be filled"; and questioned if the World Health Organization has “a switch to turn this virus on and off.”
Diamond and Silk (whose names are Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson) host a show for Fox News’ streaming service Fox Nation. For unclear reasons, Fox Nation has not posted a new episode of their weekly show since April 7.
They also co-chair the Trump campaign’s Black Voices for Trump advisory board and are members of its Women for Trump advisory board. They additionally make regular appearances at Trump campaign rallies and in campaign videos despite Fox’s stated policy that “talent” aren’t allowed to participate in campaign events.
The two have been using their social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, to push numerous conspiracy theories and lies about the coronavirus. (Those three platforms have claimed to restrict that type of misinformation but host Diamond and Silk's content.)
The following is a list of some of Diamond and Silk’s dangerous misinformation about coronavirus.
Diamond and Silk claimed that people are increasing the number of coronavirus deaths to make Trump look bad.
SILK: At the time he said it there was 25,489 cases with 307 deaths. Instantaneously, you had the media calling President Trump out, he wanted open by Easter, he want this open by Easter -- me and you was talking, I said, now watch the numbers of deaths go up --
SILK: Watch everything increase because they wanted to make it look bad in front of our eyes. [Diamond and Silk livestream, 3/29/20]
Diamond and Silk: “Even though people are dying from COVID-19, some patients are dying of other causes. If the hospitals are deeming all deaths as COVID 19, will this inflate the numbers of COVID-19 deaths?” In reality, as PolitiFact wrote, “People familiar with the tracking system say some victims go uncounted. They told us that the limited supply of testing, the pace of work at hospitals and deaths that take place outside any medical facility point to an underreporting of COVID-19 deaths, not an overreporting.”
Diamond and Silk: “Why did they have to inflate the numbers?” [Diamond and Silk livestream, 4/10/20]
Diamond and Silk: “Is this being deliberately spread? Look, I'm not being a conspiracy theorist, this is real, but I'm asking my own questions: What the hell is going on?" [The Hollywood Reporter, 3/31/20]
Diamond and Silk: “Doctors that are coming forth with stories about the alleged medical façade, deception and misrepresentation, we hear you. Keep Speaking Out!”
Diamond and Silk: Bill Gates wants to “rule the world with vaccines!”
Diamond and Silk said that they will refuse any COVID-19 vaccine Gates was involved with and falsely claimed that he “pushed for population control.” [Diamond and Silk livestream, 4/10/20]
Twitter took down a Diamond and Silk tweet about immunity because it violated the platform’s rules against coronavirus misinformation. Diamond and Silk tweeted on April 8: “The only way we can become immune to the environment; we must be out in the environment. Quarantining people inside of their houses for extended periods will make people sick!” [CNN, 4/8/20]
Diamond and Silk speculated that 5G towers “can really throw your body off” and mess with “your genetics.”
Diamond and Silk claimed that “hospitals are empty” -- a reference to the “empty hospitals” conspiracy theory -- and asked whether “somebody” could use 5G technology to infect people to ensure that “those hospital beds can be filled.”
Diamond and Silk: “People are becoming very concerned about these 5G Towers that are going up in their communities. Is there any data that shows or suggests that this technology is safe for humans?”
Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have all said that conspiracy theories about 5G and the coronavirus aren’t allowed on their platforms but, as of posting, have still allowed Diamond and Silk’s remarks (see: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube).
Diamond and Silk asked if the World Health Organization has “a switch to turn this virus on and off. Do you have a switch?” [Diamond and Silk livestream, 4/20/20]
Regarding the coronavirus, Diamond and Silk claimed that Democrats “like the problem and they want to create the problem to keep the problem going.” [WABC, Chat with the Mayor, 4/23/20]