Media

NBC News Spent Weeks Reporting On A Contributor’s Journey Battling Coronavirus – But He Never Had It

(Screenshot/YouTube: TODAY)

Shelby Talcott Media Reporter
Font Size:

NBC News spent weeks documenting its science contributor’s battle with COVID-19, but now he admits that he never tested positive for it.

Dr. Joseph Fair, a virologist, believed he had the virus and appeared on air numerous times to discuss his struggle with illness in May and June. On Tuesday, Fair admitted that he tested negative for the virus multiple times but had originally believed he had it regardless. Fair also tested negative upon taking an antibody test.

“My undiagnosed/suspected COVID illness from nearly 2 months ago remains an undiagnosed mystery as a recent antibody test was negative,” Fair tweeted Tuesday. “I had myriad COVID symptoms, was hospitalized in a COVID ward & treated for COVID-related co-morbidities, despite testing negative by nasal swab.”

Fair suggested during an interview on the “Today” show May 14 that he may have gotten the virus through his eye during a flight. He conducted the interview while in a New Orleans hospital, the Washington Free Beacon reported. (RELATED: MSNBC Analyst Suggests Using Coronavirus To Prosecute Trump For ‘Negligent Homicide’ — Gets An Assist From Former Democratic Candidate)

NBC News originally told viewers about the negative tests, but abandoned that part of the narrative as the story continued, according to Steve Krakauer’s “Fourth Watch” newsletter. During a June 14 interview with Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press,” no one noted that Fair had already tested negative at least five times, according to Krakauer.

“In the end, NBC’s viewers were left with two very alarming – and false – impressions,” Krakauer wrote. “First, that an expert virologist can take every precaution but can still catch COVID-19 through his eyes. False. Second, that tests can be so untrustworthy that you can have multiple negative tests and still have coronavirus.”

NBC News has not yet updated its May 14 article claiming the virologist got “coronavirus despite being in good health and taking precautions.” The network did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller.

“This pandemic is scary enough without this false storyline introduced into the news picture,” Krakauer added.