Fox News has come under fire for an absurd conspiracy theory alleging that the Omicron variant was created to make Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg President of the United States.
The conspiracy theory was floated over the weekend by the hosts of Fox and Friends, when co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy suggested that the new strain, first reported in South Africa, was created to further the Democratic agenda and Buttigieg's ambitions.
You can watch what transpired in the video below.
With no evidence whatsoever, Campos-Duffy claimed that the Democrats want Buttigieg to become President so they don't have to address supply-chain issues amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic:
"Pete Buttigieg, our transportation secretary, is potentially our new president in 2024, or so the Democrats want. [He] has said we can’t fix the supply chain problem until the pandemic is over, until COVID is over."
“And now we see these new variants. So that’s the answer: more lockdowns, more lockdowns, more fear and therefore he doesn’t have to do his job of fixing the supply chain because ‘we’ll keep this whole thing going.’”
Her co-hosts Pete Hegseth and Will Cain agreed, with Hegseth saying that “You can count on a variant about every October, every two years,” just in time for elections, and Cain suggesting that "variants could come more quickly.”
Many have criticized Fox News for promoting disinformation that has only undermined efforts to curb the ongoing pandemic.
Last month, Buttigieg issued a sharp response to Republicans who've criticized him amid a global supply-chain crisis, the result of Covid-19 disruptions paired with a boom in demand.
As the head of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), Buttigieg oversees the nation's public transportation programs and infrastructure, which includes highway, railroad, and maritime shipping.
But in a press briefing on November 8, Buttigieg outlined how his duties have become more complicated because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international trade.
"The bottom line is... it's not that the ports are moving less goods, that they've somehow been less able to move. They're moving more goods than ever. It's just that it's still not keeping up with demand."
Buttigieg added though the National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts "an all-time record high this year," there is still an "enormous pressure" system of international trade making disruptions to supply chains all the more apparent nationwide.
Though Buttigieg noted the COVID-19 pandemic "is poking holes" in supply chains, he said the most valuable thing people can do is get vaccinated against COVID-19.