Fox News has never been a particularly good source for medical information. To the contrary, with respect to COVID-19 they have a long record of disseminating crackpot conspiracy theories and fake cures that resulted in the deaths of untold thousands of people. They were literally killing off their own viewers.
Throughout the pandemic, Fox News was instrumental in spreading disinformation. When they weren’t denying that there was any serious public health issue at all, they were promoting quack cures like hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin. And among the most frequent distributors of deadly misinformation was their “Medical A-Team” “doctor,” Marc Siegel, who insisted that COVID was no more dangerous than the common flu.
On Friday Fox News brought in Siegel again to dispense his unique brand of bullpucky. The segment was about comments made by Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate, Stacy Abrams, on abortion and one argument in particular that anti-choice activists cling to. Abrams was addressing claims that a fetal heartbeat can heard in ultrasound exams. Host Dana Perino played a clip of Abrams saying that…
“There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks. It is a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman’s body.”
That’s a factual statement that credible medical professionals will attest to. The ultrasound machine actually inserts sounds when it encounters certain fetal activity. It is a product of the machine itself, rather than amplification of any existing sound. But that isn’t how Siegel portrayed it in this interview.
Responding to Perino’s question, “Can you hear a heartbeat at six weeks in a pregnancy?” Siegel hedged at first, calling Abrams’ comments “outrageous,” followed by a short historical outline of how ultrasound was invented and it’s contribution to medicine. He seemed to be implying that Abrams was criticizing the existence of the machine, which is absurd. He eventually circled back to the question and his reply actually affirmed what Abrams had said (video below):
“I gotta tell you that you can see at six weeks that a fetus is forming. There’s no heart there, there’s no valves, but you are seeing a fluttering, a flickering of electrical activity. That’s the beginning of a heart. So you can debate all day when an actual heart occurs, but that is the beginning of flickering, of fluttering of life there where the heart is gonna be.”
So Siegel is acknowledging that there is no heart present at six weeks, and thus no heartbeat. He tries to contort his response into the Fox News narrative by talking about some future fetal development that hasn’t yet occurred. But the fact remains that Abrams was right and Siegel is reluctantly, but expressly, concurring with her.
That’s the sort of disreputable blather that Siegel has made a career on on Fox News. He was, after all, the guy Fox News turned to to interview Donald Trump about his infamous cognition exam where he claims to have correctly identified an elephant and recalled the five words “person, woman, man, camera, TV” …
The President is back to bragging about the cognitive exam. He claims he took it to quiet the media. He also talks about how well he did on the memory question but forgets the name of the test he took. pic.twitter.com/gQiyFBPK7a
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 23, 2020
Siegel never bothered to interject that Trump’s assessment of that test was preposterous. He stood there and nodded blankly as Trump proclaimed that the test revealed his extraordinary mental prowess. It’s a moment in the media that exposed both Siegel and Trump as mentally deficient and brazenly dishonest.
NOTE: Twitter suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly.
Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel on Stacey Abrams' fetal heartbeat comments: "Her comments are outrageous…it's so ridiculous that she said that!"
"There's no heart there, there's no valves, but you're seeing a fluttering of electrical activity." pic.twitter.com/qSr9HTHS5S
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) September 23, 2022
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