On the January 10 edition of his Fox News prime-time show, Tucker Carlson cited conspiracy theory outlet Infowars to falsely claim that Texas is denying white people treatment for COVID-19 using monoclonal antibodies. This is the second time in less than a year that the white supremacist Fox star has used the fringe site as a source.
In the hidden camera video promoted by Carlson, which was posted to Twitter by Infowars host Harrison Hill Smith and shared on Infowars’ website in November, Smith talks with an unidentified nurse who tells him that he doesn’t qualify for COVID-19 treatment because he is young and healthy. She tells him, “If you were 65, you’d be good. But nope, you’re healthy and (have) no medical conditions, so research shows that you should be able to fight off COVID.”
(In the event the tweet is removed for any reason, you can see the full video here.)
Smith, who claimed on Twitter he was “denied medical service because of my race,” ignored the fact that the nurse he was speaking with gave him several other reasons why he was being denied.. The Infowars article, titled “Texas HHS Denies Monoclonal Antibody Treatment For Whites, Says Only Available for ‘High-Risk Ethnicity Groups,’” basically debunks itself -- noting that “a memo released by the Texas HHS makes no mention of ‘high-risk ethnicities’ being an automatic qualifier in its memo announcing the availability of monoclonal antibody treatments.” The same memo cited by Infowars was linked on the Texas Health and Human Services website, and indeed, there is no mention of race or ethnicity as criteria for treatment.
Somehow, in dredging up Smith’s video months later, Carlson sank even lower than Alex Jones’ site. On Fox, he played only part of the clip, cutting it off just before the nurse explains several reasons why Smith is being denied, including his age and lack of preexisting conditions. Carlson cited Smith’s Twitter account (which he is using to evade a ban from the platform), as well as a URL that redirects to Infowars’ video hosting platform.
Carlson rolls the edited clip around the seven-minute mark.
Carlson said Smith, who was not identified on-air as an Infowars staffer, was denied treatment “without even assessing the relative health risks involved,” when the part of the video he deceptively edited out of his segment clearly shows this was not the case.
After the segment, Smith thanked Carlson for “featuring my video and shining light on an important topic.”
Carlson is a repeat Infowars guest and longtime ally of the site’s founder, Alex Jones. As previously mentioned, this isn’t the first time Carlson has leaned on Jones’ operation for content. Last April, Carlson cited and rebroadcast footage from the January 6 insurrection filmed by an Infowars personality who was arrested for his participation in the Capitol riot.
And after the Murdochs and other Fox executives faced backlash internally for Carlson’s conspiracy theory-laden Fox Nation documentary Patriot Purge, the Fox host was praised by Jones for having “surpassed Infowars’ greatest exploits.”