Fox News’ chief White House correspondent John Roberts on Wednesday sought to shoot down coronavirus conspiracy theorists one day after he was caught on a hot mic with New York Times photographer Doug Mills, who was making jokes about a possible vaccine and that the death rate from COVID-19 may be lower than previously thought.
The longtime TV newsman defended his exchange with Mills as “sardonic humor and sarcasm” and added that “there is NO vaccine. And it is NOT a hoax.”
Just before Tuesday’s White House press briefing, Roberts was caught joking on hot mic with Mills. “You can take off the mask,” he told Mills. “The case fatality rate is like 0.1 to 0.3, according to USC.”
“Is it really?” Mills responded, joking back, “Everybody here’s been vaccinated anyway.”
Roberts went on, “USC and L.A. County public health came out with a study that found that there are 7,000 cases in California but they really believe that there are anywhere from 221,000 to 442,000 people who are infected.”
When Mills replied sarcastically, “So it was a hoax,” Roberts said that no, he didn’t believe it was a hoax.
“Because you asked…..The @USC @lapublichealth study is real – but not yet peer-reviewed,” Roberts tweeted on Wednesday. “The rest of the exchange was sardonic humor and sarcasm… There is NO vaccine. And it is NOT a hoax.”
As of Wednesday morning, there have been over 780,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States. Over 37,000 of those confirmed cases have proven fatal.