The person who confirmed the conversations warned that there had not been a single conversation that played a role in Fox’s coverage of Covid-19. Throughout the pandemic, officials have regularly contacted Fox News about their Covid-19 coverage. While White House officials often contact television networks and other media about their coronavirus coverage, this awareness is notable given Fox News’ past coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed on Tuesday that White House officials are in regular contact with Fox News.
When CNN’s Phil Mattingly asked him for more information on the talks at the press conference, Psaki said: “We have been in contact with all networks and many media on Covid-19 coverage to make sure that people have accurate information, to express concerns when we have it.
“And I think you all know we’re never shy when we have a problem with a story. So that’s really the framework we’re looking at here. So we also understand the importance of reaching out to Fox audiences at About the Covid-19 vaccines and their benefits, and as we are with all of you here today, we are of course in regular contact, ”she continued. “And we also try to have officials on a range of networks to talk about Covid-19. We don’t see it as a partisan issue. We don’t see vaccines as a political issue. keep Americans safe. “
As vaccinations have plummeted in recent months, the White House has made several attempts to reach those who had not yet been vaccinated, as mild breakthrough cases become more common. An average of 282,070 people are fully vaccinated each day, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s about the same as last week, but it’s about a third of the rate a month ago, when more than 858,000 people were fully immunized each day.
CNN has reached out to Fox News for comment on the conversations.
While some hosts talked about the benefits of vaccines and shared their own vaccination experiences, many others trafficked anti-vaccination rhetoric and encouraged guests to do the same.
Tucker Carlson, the network’s most popular personality, aired dozens of segments questioning the government’s vaccination effort. Some of his monologues specifically questioned the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Other right-wing networks and websites have done the same, but Fox has the largest audience of Republican voters.
Fox’s coverage has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks. On Monday, media critics noticed that several segments of Fox were directing viewers to the government website, Vaccines.gov, with an on-screen banner, which it has not done for weeks.
And Hannity, who previously downplayed the importance of the pandemic but has consistently been in favor of vaccines, said Monday night: “I can’t say it enough. Enough people are dead. We don’t need death anymore. . Research like mad. Talk. To your doctor, doctors, healthcare professionals you trust based on your unique medical history. … take it seriously. “
The White House has expressed concern in recent weeks about disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines promoted in the mass media, especially on social networks. The pace of vaccinations has slowed, and the Biden administration has indicated that misinformation was one of the main reasons.
US Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy on Thursday warned that health disinformation was “a serious threat to public health,” and the administration directly called on social media giant Facebook for not doing enough to stop the spread of false information on its platform.
This story has been updated with additional commentary from the White House.
CNN’s Maegan Vazquez contributed to this report.