‘Everyone’s been vaccinated around here anyway’: Hot mic in White House press room catches New York Times photographer joking with Fox journalist sparking coronavirus conspiracy theories online
- A hot mic in the White House briefing room captured a conversation between Fox News reporter John Roberts and New York Times photographer Doug Mills
- Roberts told Mills to take off his mask and quoted statistics from a California study that saw the fatality rate to be around seasonal flu levels
- Mills then tells Roberts ‘everyone around here has been vaccinated’ for COVID coronavirus, apparently jokingly
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
A microphone that was left on in the White House press briefing room overheard a conversation between Fox News’ John Roberts and New York Times photographer Doug Mills as they discussed the coronavirus pandemic.
‘What do you know, buddy?’ Mills says to Roberts as he enters the room.
‘You can take off the mask, the case fatality rate is 0.1 to 0.3 according to USC,’ Roberts responds.
A hot mic in the White House briefing room captured a conversation between Fox News reporter John Roberts, left, and New York Times photographer Doug Mills, seen right
Mills then apparently jokes saying, ‘We’ve all been vaccinated around here.’
Roberts comes back quoting some statistics: ‘USC and LA County public health came out with a study that found that there are 7,000 cases in California but they really believe there are anywhere from 221,000 to 442,000 people who are infected.’
When White House briefings are streamed live, some outlets often carry the feeds in advance complete with audio and video before the events begin.
Roberts, left, told Mills, right, to take off his mask and quoted statistics from a California study that saw the fatality rate from coronavirus to be around seasonal flu levels
Mills then tells Roberts ‘everyone around here has been vaccinated’ for COVID coronavirus, apparently jokingly
Mediaite was first to report on the viral which has since gone video.
In the study from earlier this month, Roberts suggested that there may in fact be between 28 to 55 times more cases in California than the 7,994 cases that had been confirmed at the time.
On social media some tweeted that they believed the video might have been faked while others have said that Mills was likely not joking.
Social media users were completely divided on whether the conversation was a joke or for real
During the briefing that followed, Roberts went on to ask Dr. Deborah Birx on the White House coronavirus task force about the study he mentioned to Mills.
Dr. Birx explained that the study was of interest because there is no specific data about the number of asymptomatic cases which would be crucial to understanding the infectious rate and the mortality rate.
She went on to explain that the team is looking at the findings of the study which might see authorities to ‘recalibrating disease prediction models and rethink public health strategies.’
Social media users were completely divided on whether the conversation was a joke or for real.
‘Seems like an intentional leak. Well played if so. Wake up another wave,’ wrote one.
‘WTF does the guy in the mask mean by “everybody here has been vaccinated anyway?”‘ questioned another.
‘Well does that mean they have a COVID vaccine? ?? I don’t want it anyway but sure seems shady if so,’ tweet another user.