- The Washington Times - Friday, May 22, 2020

The head of One America News, a right-wing cable network recently embraced by the White House, tried to court President Trump after he criticized rival outlet Fox News on Thursday.

Robert Herring, the founder and chief executive officer of OAN’s parent company, appealed to the president in light of Mr. Trump recently lashing out against Fox News on Twitter.

“Many will disagree, but @FoxNews is doing nothing to help Republicans, and me, get re-elected on November 3rd,” Mr. Trump posted on the platform earlier Thursday.

Mr. Herring subsequently responded to Mr. Trump on Twitter, tweeting: “If only there were a better source for REAL news…”

“Mr. President, Fox News is reporting that you are killing people at the same time [OAN] is talking about how many lives your [sic] are saving,” Mr. Herring said in another tweet tagging Mr. Trump. “If you want to get the facts to the American people, you are always welcome on One America News Network!”

The head of Herring Networks seemed to be referring in the second tweet to hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug that Mr. Trump said he recently begun taking as a preventative measure against COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, notwithstanding dangerous associated health risks associated and a lack of evidence to indicate it does as desired.

Mr. Herring was interviewed on his own network Thursday for a segment about the drug that was uploaded to OAN’s channel on Youtube afterwards with the title: “Herring Networks CEO: Hydroxychloroquine has proven to be miraculous.”

“I have my own box that I bought,” Mr. Herring said about hydroxychloroquine during the segment. “I instructed my wife, if something happens, she makes sure that I get it.”

The head of OAN also referred to hydroxychloroquine in six consecutive tweets over the course of this week, including one in which he touted a special report the network aired on the coronavirus. Promoting the segment on social media Monday, Mr. Herring said “find out why our president and thousands of doctors and survivors say this medicine is the real deal. Or, you can watch @FoxNews to hear why you shouldn’t take it.”

Mr. Herring, a San Diego-based businessmen who founded OAN’s parent company in 2003, said elsewhere during the network interview Thursday that official figures reflecting COVID-19’s toll are not “real numbers,” and that he believes anybody preventing coronavirus patients from being treated with hydroxychloroquine are committing murder.

“People are dying because they can’t get it,” Mr. Herring said about hydroxychloroquine. “Personally, I’d call these people murderers that are not giving it. They are killing people by not doing it.”

Mr. Trump has previously described hydroxychloroquine as a potential “game changer” in the fight to cure COVID-19, and he announced earlier this week that he has been taking it as a preventative measure.

The Federal Drug Administration cautioned last month against treating COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine outside of a hospital setting or clinical trial, however, citing a high risk of the drug causing heart problems in people and a lack of evidence to indicate it is safe and effective for treating or preventing the disease.

Meanwhile, a report published Friday in The Lancet medical journal found that COVID-19 patients who used hydroxychloroquine to combat the coronavirus have a significantly higher risk of death than those who did not.

Launched by Herring Networks in 2013, OAN has previously faced criticism over its handling of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. The network was stripped of its seat in the White House press briefing room last month after one of its reporters repeatedly violated social distancing policies put in place by the White House Correspondents Association due to the health crisis, but that correspondent continued to attend briefings afterward as a guest of the Trump administration.

More recently, OAN made waves this month after it aired a report that claimed that “mounting evidence” exists to show that the coronavirus pandemic is part of a “globalist conspiracy to establish sweeping population control.” It quietly removed video of the report from its YouTube channel afterward.

Mr. Trump praised OAN on Twitter days before that clip first aired, calling the network “Great News, not Fake News,” and suggesting all cable TV providers carry it.

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