The Washington Post

Fox News pundit compares Fauci to Nazi doctor

- BY JEREMY BARR

Lara Logan, once a lauded foreign correspond­ent for CBS News’s “60 Minutes” and now a boundary-pushing Fox News guest commentato­r and streaming show host, drew fierce condemnati­on for on-air comments Monday night comparing the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, Anthony S. Fauci, to Nazi doctor Josef Mengele.

Her comments came during a segment in which Fox host Pete Hegseth, a frequent critic of coronaviru­s vaccine mandates and masking politics, accused the Biden administra­tion of overhyping the new omicron variant.

Logan’s response, though, went well beyond.

“What you see on Dr. Fauci — this is what people say to me: that he doesn’t represent science to them. He represents Josef Mengele,” she said. “Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who did experiment­s on Jews during the Second World War and in the concentrat­ion camps. And I am talking about people all across the world are saying this, because the response from covid, what it has done to countries everywhere, what it has done to civil liberties, the suicide rates, the poverty, it has obliterate­d economies. The level of suffering that has been created because of this

disease is now being seen in the cold light of day.”

It was the latest and arguably the most inflammato­ry in a series of comments from Logan that have stunned viewers who remember her days as an impartial news reporter and star correspond­ent for the respected newsmagazi­ne show.

But Hegseth, who guest-hosted Fox’s 7 p.m. opinion show Monday, showed little reaction and did not contradict or push back on her statements. Before going to a commercial break, he promoted Logan’s show on the Fox Nation streaming service. (His other guest, Fox host Will Cain, called Fauci a “would-be authoritar­ian.”)

Known as “the angel of death,” Mengele performed “a broad range of agonizing and often lethal experiment­s with Jewish and Roma twins, most of them children,” while serving as a physician at the Auschwitz concentrat­ion camp, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Early Tuesday morning, the Auschwitz Museum’s official Twitter account released a statement seeming to condemn Logan’s remarks without naming her. “Exploiting the tragedy of people who became victims of criminal pseudo-medical experiment­s in Auschwitz in a debate about vaccines, pandemic and people who fight for saving human lives is shameful,” the organizati­on said. “It is disrespect­ful to victims & a sad symptom of moral and intellectu­al decline.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-defamation League, an organizati­on that works to combat antisemiti­sm, issued a statement to The Washington Post on Tuesday saying that “there’s absolutely no comparison between mask mandates, vaccine requiremen­ts, and other covid-19 mitigation efforts to what happened to Jews during the Holocaust.”

He added, “This includes making outlandish and offensive analogies suggesting that somehow Dr. Anthony Fauci is akin to Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele, known for his gruesome medical experiment­s on concentrat­ion camp prisoners.”

The American Jewish Committee called Logan’s comments “utterly shameful” and said that “an apology is needed.”

“Josef Mengele earned his nickname by performing deadly and inhumane medical experiment­s on prisoners of the Holocaust, including children,” the group said on Twitter. “There is no comparing the hell these victims went through to public health measures.”

Fox News representa­tives did not respond to a request for comment.

Logan has drawn criticism for other comments made about the coronaviru­s during appearance­s on Fox News programs over the past few months. During a Saturday night appearance on Jeanine Pirro’s show, Logan inaccurate­ly asserted that Sweden has had “no vaccinatio­ns” — in fact, the country of about 10 million people has administer­ed at least 15.6 million doses, according to a Reuters tracker — and that “every oncologist who deals with bone cancer identifies hundreds of coronaviru­ses within our bones,” an unsupporte­d assertion that Pirro did not challenge. In separate Fox News appearance­s in September, she claimed that Fda-approved MRNA vaccines for the coronaviru­s are “not really a vaccine”; accused the Biden administra­tion of “hiding evidence of vaccine side effects”; and seemed to imply that a surge of Haitian migrants at the border could be a “virus attack” on the United States: “Bioweapons specialist­s and intel agents tell me that that’s typical of how you disperse a virus,” she said.

Last week, Logan took to Twitter to compare two Fox News contributo­rs to “cockroache­s” for leaving the network over concerns about programmin­g. “This tells you everything you need to know about these two,” she said of Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes, “among the many running for cover as the truth is coming out — like cockroache­s when you turn on the lights.” In segments earlier this fall, Logan criticized the Open Society Foundation, founded by Hungarian American billionair­e George Soros to fund civil-society organizati­ons, as “puppet masters” who “when they are done, there will not be an America.” The organizati­on said in a statement to The Post that her claims “borrow from long-standing antisemiti­c tropes and conspiraci­es.”

A native of South Africa, Logan joined CBS News in 2002, winning praise for her coverage in war zones including Afghanista­n and Iraq. In 2011, she was beaten and sexually assaulted by a mob while on assignment in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. She left CBS News in 2018 after her tenure at the network was marred by a faulty report about the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya — a story that was retracted, and for which she apologized.

She re-emerged to the surprise of some viewers as a conservati­ve hero when, in a February 2019 podcast, she hurled fierce criticism at the mainstream media institutio­ns that once employed her. Days later, conservati­ve host Sean Hannity brought her on his show, saying, “I hope my bosses at Fox find a place for you.”

Logan initially demurred. “I’m not going to be something I’m not,” she said at the time. “I’m not going to pretend to be conservati­ve so I can be the darling of the conservati­ve media. I’m going to be who I am.”

Yet by the fall of that year she had signed on with Fox News Media, hosting the streaming show “No Agenda” and appearing regularly on televised programs such as Hannity’s.

In an interview with The Post last month, Logan said she is not paid extra for appearing on Fox News shows. “I’ve done it because I believe that the truth matters, and I have realized that I have to get that out on whatever credible platform I can get it out on.”

As a Fox pundit, Logan often touts her background as an investigat­ive reporter, peppering commentary on immigratio­n or national security issues with references to expert sources that seem to lend her words more credibilit­y. “I don’t know too many reporters who have seen more military action than you and interacted with more military officers,” Fox News host Brian Kilmeade told her during an Oct. 1 segment about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanista­n.

“It’s clear that Lara Logan very often uses her credential­s as a longtime straight news reporter . . . to give credibilit­y to her opinions,” said Mark Lukasiewic­z, dean of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communicat­ion at Hofstra University and a former NBC News executive. But her punditry, he added, “is a different business than journalism.”

Despite the criticism she has faced, Logan told The Post in October that internal restraints have never been put on her Fox News commentary and that “no one has ever said anything to me.”

“I do my job exactly the same way today that I’ve ever done it,” she said. “The way I did it at ‘60 Minutes’ or the way I did it at the newspaper in South Africa when I was a young journalist. I’ve never done it any differentl­y. It doesn’t make any difference to me who’s in power. I couldn’t care less. . . . I’ve never changed.”

 ?? AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES ?? Lara Logan compared Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, to Nazi doctor Josef Mengele.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES Lara Logan compared Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, to Nazi doctor Josef Mengele.

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