Fox host Shepard Smith debunked a false claim, which originated from far-right media and spread to social media and which had been pushed by one of his colleagues just days earlier, that supplies for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico aren’t being distributed because the truck drivers there are on strike. Smith called the claim “fake news,” noting that “there is no trucker's strike” and that “the truckers in Puerto Rico are victims too.”
On September 30, Fox’s Julie Banderas said on America’s News Headquarters that “the truckers, the Puerto Rican employees, are on strike.” The false claim, which was pushed by fringe blog Conservative Treehouse and others in far-right media, even appears to have reached President Donald Trump. From the October 3 edition of Fox News’ Shepard Smith Reporting:
SHEPARD SMITH (HOST): Of course, the president mentioned the truckers. The biggest problem on the island is distribution of supplies, we’re told. Getting needed goods to people outside San Juan has been extremely challenging. According to our reporters on the ground, many of those who would move the supplies have lost their homes and vehicles in the storm. Some of the truckers can't be reached because there's no communication working in so many areas still. Reports that a union truckers’ strike added to the problems are not true. They are, in fact, fake news, spread largely, it appears, by a website called Conservative Treehouse and then over Twitter and Facebook. Again, there is no trucker's strike. That's fake news. The truckers in Puerto Rico are victims too.