NBC medical expert Joseph Fair, who has appeared on the network nearly a dozen times since the COVID-19 pandemic began sweeping across the U.S., offered a horrific tale about the virus.
According to Fair, he caught the virus while on a commercial flight from New Orleans. “I had a mask on, I had gloves on, I did my normal wipes routine … but obviously, you can still get it through your eyes,” Fair in May told the “Today Show,” directly, via video link from his hospital bed. “And, of course, I wasn’t wearing goggles on the flight.”
In another appearance the next month, Fair told NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet The Press” that the virus was “the worst I’ve ever felt. I probably spent 23 out of 24 hours in bed.”
“I don’t have any of those underlying conditions, I’m 42 years old. So you wouldn’t think, clinically, that I would be one of those people that would get so very ill,” Fair said, adding: “Those people that are young and think they’re invincible or people that just don’t think it’s going to affect them that greatly even if they do get it. I can say that my own experience was the complete opposite.”
“I was a very healthy person. I exercise five to six days a week,” he said. “If it can take me down, it can take down anybody.”
The only problem: Fair never had COVID-19, at least according to several test results.
“What Fair, Todd, and NBC News didn’t tell the audience is that before he made this claim, Fair had already tested negative for COVID-19 at least five times,” Inside Sources reports. “Fair followed that up with an antibody test to detect if he’d ever had the virus. The results were negative.”
“And now we know Dr. Fair never had coronavirus, despite nearly a dozen appearances on NBC and MSNBC where he talked about having it or recovering from it,” media watchdog Steve Krakauer writes in his Fourth Watch newsletter.
In the end, NBC’s viewers were left with two very alarming — and false — impressions. First, that an expert virologist can take every precaution but can still catch COVID-19 through his eyes. False. Second, that tests can be so untrustworthy that you can have multiple negative tests and still have coronavirus. [Today co-host] Craig Melvin described them as ‘false negative tests’ in that initial report on May 14. Hoda Kotb said, ‘every time it came back negative, but clearly you have it.’ False.
Fair took to Twitter last week to try to explain.
“My undiagnosed/suspected COVID illness from nearly 2 months ago remains an undiagnosed mystery as a recent antibody test was negative. I had myriad COVID symptoms, was hospitalized in a COVID ward & treated for COVID-related co-morbidities, despite testing negative by nasal swab,” he wrote in a post.
“I was severely ill for 2 weeks, 4 days of it in critical condition, resulting in pneumonia, diffuse lung injury & 18lbs of weight loss. My path forward is a 2nd AB test, & follow-up with a pulmonologist & tropical medicine specialist in an effort to diagnose what made me so ill,” he wrote.
I was severely ill for 2 weeks, 4 days of it in critical condition, resulting in pneumonia, diffuse lung injury & 18lbs of weight loss. My path forward is a 2nd AB test, & follow-up with a pulmonologist & tropical medicine specialist in an effort to diagnose what made me so ill.
— Dr. Joseph Fair (@curefinder) July 7, 2020
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