Hot White House Mic Catches Someone Joking With Fox’s John Roberts: “We’ve All Been Vaccinated
A burning microphone left on in the White House press conference room sparked controversy, after a reporter was overheard joking that everyone had been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Two reporters – identified online as Fox News’ John Roberts and New York Times photographer Doug Mills – were caught chatting ahead of an official press briefing.
“You can take off the mask, the case fatality rate is 0.1 to 0.3 according to USC,” Roberts was heard.
Mills then apparently joked, saying, “We’ve all been vaccinated around here.”
The video has since gone viral – and has been picked up by conspiracy theorists. There is currently no vaccine or cure for the coronavirus, which has killed more than 40,000 Americans and infected more than 800,000.
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
When White House briefings are broadcast live, some outlets often broadcast the feeds in advance with audio and video before events begin.
Roberts is also heard quoting statistics, saying, “USC and LA County Public Health came out with a to study who revealed that there are 7,000 cases in California, but they really think there are between 221,000 and 442,000 people infected.
“So that was a hoax,” Mills jokes. ‘
But Roberts replies, “No, I don’t think it’s a hoax.”
Roberts appears to be referring to a study this week that found that four percent of adults in Los Angeles County have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.
This suggests that hundreds of thousands of people may have been infected in early April when only 8,000 cases had been confirmed – meaning that many people may have the virus but not show any symptoms.
The antibody tests were carried out last week by county officials working with scientists at USC. The test is manufactured by Premier Biotech and has an accuracy rate of 90-95%.
They randomly tested 863 adults with finger prick tests. Of these, 4.1% tested positive for antibodies.
When the scientists adjusted the results for a margin of error, they said that between 2.8% and 5.6% of the county’s adult population – between 221,000 and 442,000 people – had the virus.
Roberts, left, told Mills, right, to take off his mask and cited statistics from a California study that saw the death rate from the coronavirus hover around seasonal flu levels
Mills then tells Roberts that ‘everyone here has been vaccinated’ against the COVID coronavirus, apparently jokingly
During the briefing that followed, Roberts then asked Dr Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force about the study he mentioned to Mills.
Dr Birx explained that the study was interesting because there is no specific data on the number of asymptomatic cases that would be crucial to understanding the infection rate and the death rate.
She went on to say that the team is looking at the study’s findings that could lead authorities to “recalibrate disease prediction models and rethink public health strategies.”
Media was the first to report the video viral. On social media, some tweeted that they thought the video could have been faked while others said Mills was probably not kidding.
Some have suggested the exchange proves the coronavirus to be ‘fake news’.
“Looks like an intentional leak. Well done if so. Wake up another wave, ”one wrote.
“WTF, does the guy in the mask mean ‘everyone here has been vaccinated anyway?” another asked.
“Well, does that mean they have a COVID vaccine? ?? I don’t want it anyway, but it sure sounds fishy if it does, ”tweeted another user.
Social media users were completely divided over whether the conversation was a joke or for real