During the interview Mikovits told Bolling that Fauci had over the past decade “manufactured” and shipped coronaviruses to Wuhan, China, which became the original epicenter of the current outbreak. Bolling noted that this was a “hefty claim,” but did not meaningfully challenge Mikovits and allowed her to continue making her case.
Klayman, who did not respond to a request for comment, also pushed conspiracy theories about the coronavirus. He said the “origins” of the virus were in the United States. Bolling didn’t meaningfully challenge Klayman either.
In the segment that immediately followed, Bolling spoke to Dr. Nicole Saphier, a Fox News medical contributor, to get her response to the claims from Mikovits and Klayman.
President Trump’s allies in right-wing media have sought to discredit Fauci in recent weeks. Earlier this month, Trump administration officials even went as far as to publicly attack Fauci.
But Bolling, a former Fox News host, told CNN Business in a series of text messages that he invited Mikovits onto his show to “question and challenge her beliefs.” Bolling also said he does not control the on-screen graphics that appear during his show.
“I did challenge her,” Bolling said, noting he called her claim “hefty.”
When pressed over whether calling a claim “hefty” constituted effectively challenging the conspiracy theory Mikovits pushed, Bolling said that he did believe he challenged her.
Bolling then told CNN Business that he was not aware of the viral “Plandemic” video Mikovits was featured in earlier this year, and said Saphier “was not originally booked on the show” and that he added her to “provide an opposing viewpoint.”
“I don’t know of any video she was in prior to or after appearing on my show. Frankly, I was shocked when she made the accusation,” Bolling said. “I asked our producers to add Saphier to the show for the express purpose of debunking the conspiracy theory. I believe viewers see that I did not and do not endorse her theory.”
When asked if he really was unaware that Mikovits had been in a viral video earlier in the year pushing misinformation about coronavirus, Bolling said he had been.
“I give you my word… this is the first I’ve heard of the video,” Bolling said. “And the very first time I heard of Dr. Mikovits was the morning of taping.”
But when asked whether, now that he was aware of the video, he had any second thoughts about airing the segment with Mikovits, Bolling replied, “I don’t second guess my producers and bookers.”
Bolling added, however, that he “certainly didn’t endorse her theory.”