Newsmax forced to put out statements saying vaccines don’t make you glow

Company distances itself from wild Twitter conspiracies of White House correspondent Emerald Robinson

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Friday 05 November 2021 15:45
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Related Video: Psaki shuts down Emerald Robinson’s attack on Pete Buttigieg’s paternity leave

Right-wing media outlet Newsmax was forced to put out two statements this week in response to tweets from its own White House correspondent that claimed that vaccines gave you a glow that allowed you to be tracked.

Newsmax executive vice president and chief content officer Elliot Jacobson said: “Newsmax is a strong proponent that Covid-19 vaccines are overarchingly safe and effective, while at the same time raising concerns that mandates infringe on personal liberty and privacy.”

He continued: “We have seen no evidence to suggest Luciferase or Luciferin are present in any vaccines or that they are used as any sort bioluminescent marker.”

Parent company Newsmax Media added in a separate statement: “Newsmax strongly believes and has reported that the Covid 19 vaccines are safe and effective. We do not believe the vaccines contain any toxic materials or tracking markers, and such false claims have never been reported on Newsmax. The many medical experts appearing on Newsmax have supported the use of the vaccine.”

This clarification from the pro-Trump media group followed an alarming conspiracy-laced tweet from Emerald Robinson, who covers the White House.

She wrote: “Dear Christians: the vaccines contain a bioluminescent marker called LUCIFERASE so that they can be tracked. Read the last book of the New Testament to see how this ends.”

What prompted her to post such misinformation? A bizarre unfounded conspiracy theory found on social media that combines vaccine scepticism, the Book of Revelations, and the devil, using his name, Lucifer.

A Facebook post warns: “LUCIFERASE ENZYME (MARK OF THE BEAST) IN C19 VACCINE.”

Another post on Facebook cites a “patent” number of “060606” adding to potential fervour about the devil by using the number assigned to him – 666 – and end times as foretold by Revelations, the last book the New Testament.

According to Revelations, those who carry the mark of the beast “shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb”.

Luciferase is a real enzyme, but its only connection with the devil is they share the Latin roots of their common name – “lux” means light, and “ferre” means to bring or bear.

Under certain circumstances, the Luciferase enzyme can produce light in living organisms, for example in the case of fireflies and similar insects.

None of the available coronavirus vaccines contain this enzyme, but there is a link between the conspiracy and real life, as The Washington Post reports.

In July 2020, a report stated that scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston were using luciferase to “develop faster and more accurate diagnostic tests for Covid-19 as well as to analyse potential therapies and gain a clearer understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself”.

Essentially, some vaccine trials used luciferase, although it wasn’t included in the final products, which is why out of the almost 225 million Americans who have received at least one dose of the vaccine, no one has reported glowing in the dark.

The offending tweet has since been deleted and Twitter has “temporarily locked” Ms Robinson’s account “for repeated violations of our Covid-19 misinformation policy”.

Another tweet from September about vaccines and DNA remains for her 438,000 followers: “You need to do some research before you ever agree to take a vaccine for coronavirus.”

“What’s Luciferase? What’s hydrogel? What’s transfection? What’s mRNA? Some of these new vaccines will rewrite your DNA,” she added. And no they will not rewrite your DNA.

Ms Robinson did not respond to a request from the Post about whether vaccines are safe and effective – as her bosses at Newsmax went out of their way to say.

Whether she will retain her position as White House correspondent after pushing such outlandish and dangerous misinformation is now in their hands.

When asked by the Post if the network remains confident in Ms Robinson’s reporting, a response read: “Newsmax is currently reviewing the posts and during that period Ms Robinson will not be on air but continue with duties for the network.”

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