YouTube star Jake Paul has claimed he was misquoted when saying COVID-19 is a "hoax" during a recent interview with The Daily Beast's Marlow Stern. But on Friday, Stern dropped the receipts that prove otherwise.
Paul, who is certainly no stranger to inciting controversy, made the claims against Stern on Friday in a separate interview with The Verge, in which he was asked about his prior comments on the pandemic.
"So this guy, this reporter, he misquoted me. He took what I said out of context, and I told him that. I told him that the whole entire time," Paul said. "COVID is very, very real. COVID is very real, like, it's killed so many people. It's killed people I know. It's killed someone very, very close to me. So that's what I'm saying. I don't even know where that came from."
Shortly after the Verge interview ran, Stern -- a senior entertainment editor at The Daily Beast -- posted the entire audio file of his conversation with Paul on Soundcloud, which you can listen to here.
— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) November 27, 2020
In his interview with Stern, Paul called the COVID-19 pandemic a "controversial subject" and said he believes the country needs to "open up and go back to normal." When pressed if he really believed it was time to move away from lockdowns, the 23-year-old said he was "100%" certain, before expanding on his stance.
"There are people losing jobs, there are small businesses who are going bankrupt, there are millions of people who are unemployed right now, people are turning to alcohol and drugs to cope with everything that's going on. This is the most detrimental thing to our society," Paul said. "COVID cases are at less than 1%, and I think the disease is a hoax."
Paul continued, "You know, 98% of news is fake, so how do we know what's actually real, and what we're actually supposed to do?"
Jake Paul, who rose to fame on YouTube, has more than 20 million subscribers on his channel.