Politics

Fox News host claims HIV doesn’t cause AIDS

Let us remember this: According to Lara Logan, she knows exactly who Dr. Josef Mengele was. In fact, when she made her first claims that Dr. Anthony Fauci and his calls for public health policies that would require people to get vaccinated and wear masks to mitigate a pandemic that has killed three-quarters of a million Americans in just over a year and a half, she explained that that people “all across the world are saying” that Dr. Anthony Fauci’s “response to COVID” reminds them of “Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who did experiments on Jews during the Second World War and in the concentration camps.” And somehow, the blame of “suffering that has been created because of this disease is now being seen in the cold light of day,” falls on Dr. Fauci’s shoulders because … something-something Nazis.

As the Washington Post points out, Mr. Pete Hegseth and his other guest (let’s call him Complicit Coward #2) show not a whisper of a reaction to the abhorrent and inflammatory statements being made by Logan. This won’t be much of a surprise to Daily Kos readers as Hegseth’s audition to become a host on Fox News included him sympathizing with the authoritarian dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, saying he “probably doesn’t love being the guy that has to murder his people all day long.”

Logan, if you don’t recall, is one of those former journalists that the right call fake news. In fact, in her case, the reason she was let go from her prestigious job at 60 Minutes was because of a fake news-laden story on the Benghazi attacks. Maybe you heard of them? We spent millions of dollars and resources of taxpayer money trying to pin it on Hillary Clinton.

Logan’s recent appearances on Fox News have included the promotion of xenophobic conspiracy theories that migrants seeking entry into the United States are an attempt by foreign regimes to launch a secret “virus attack” on the U.S. She followed this with assertions that immigration is the real reason for “spikes” in COVID-19 cases in red states. There is the old saying that you couldn’t write this stuff, but included in that is how much these “theories” sound like rejected 1990s action film ideas that even straight-to-video production companies wouldn’t touch.

Logan isn’t done. The day after spewing her nonsense, she spent her time on her social media accounts, pushing out truly bananas conspiracy theory bullshit, with caveats that she had “reviewed” things. One of her reviewed items? The false claim that “HIV does not cause AIDS,” and, in fact, the drugs given to treat HIV are the real killers. (Sound like a familiar playbook?)

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Her Twitter feed is filled with misinformation about the efficacy of mask-wearing, alongside a lot of war atrocities allegedly taking place in Afghanistan, with Logan calling on Joe Biden to be more hawkish in the region.

Fox News and Logan have refused to apologize for the insensitivity and historical inaccuracy of the statements. In response, Anti-Defamation spokesman Jake Hyman told CNN Business: “Logan and the network seem to be immune to shame and allergic to remorse. It’s equally disturbing, yet also not surprising, Logan would double-down this morning on Twitter. Make no mistake, these odious comparisons only serve to trivialize and distort the meaning and memory of the Holocaust.”

Michael Bornstein, a survivor of the Auschwitz death camp where Mengele practiced his atrocities on Jews, told CNN Logan’s comments were “disgusting,” saying that “there is absolutely zero comparison” between a Nazi who murdered and tortured children and the guy telling Americans to get vaccinated and wash their hands.

It is important to contextualize history whenever possible. It is also important not to be reductive in order to compare apples to Nazi monsters. But if the right-wing-o-sphere must reduce their criteria in order to speak to their rabid zombified audience, here’s a simple way to think of things: If millions of people weren’t killed and raped and tortured due to an ethnic cleansing campaign in the thing you are talking about, don’t compare it to the Nazis’ treatment of European Jews.

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