Fox News personality Harris Faulkner faced backlash after making a historically inaccurate claim regarding school closures during pandemics.
In her primetime monologue, Faulkner attempted to draw a parallel between the COVID-19 pandemic and the 1918-19 influenza pandemic, suggesting that schools did not close during the latter. However, her claim was debunked by historical records and research, leading to accusations of revisionist history.
Faulkner praised the exceptionalism of America and made references to D-Day, highlighting the "bravery" and "sacrifice" of Americans.
She then shifted the focus to the COVID-19 pandemic and criticized the decisions made regarding school closures. In an attempt to contrast the actions taken during the 1918-19 influenza pandemic, Faulkner wrongly claimed that schools remained open during that time.
You can hear what Faulkner said in the video below.
“You know, we didn’t actually close schools in 1918 during the Spanish flu pandemic. We didn’t even have penicillin back then."
"We did sacrifice. We suffered, but then we pressed on. Our enemies hate us for surviving, but they would love to be like us.”
Faulkner's claim was swiftly debunked by historical evidence.
A simple internet search reveals that, in fact, schools were closed during the 1918-19 influenza pandemic. A PBS NewsHour column from July 2020 highlights that the majority of public schools were closed for extended periods ranging from weeks to months.
Moreover, a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in December 2020 titled "School Closures During the 1918 Flu Pandemic" confirms that schools did, in fact, close during that time, although for fewer days on average compared to the closures seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Faulkner's lie was immediately called out.
Faulkner has been on a roll lately with her lying.
Earlier this week, she was criticized after she claimed people of (Christian) faith are facing persecution for saying grace in restaurants, a statement many deemed an attempt to manufacture outrage over a non-issue.
Faulkner urged viewers to be "bold" in their faith and openly pray in public spaces before sharing a personal anecdote in which she alleged she was kicked out of an establishment because her server and the restaurant manager witnessed her praying over her meal.
There is no evidence to support Faulkner's claims.