The Biden administration made direct payments to nearly all major corporate media outlets to deploy a $1 billion taxpayer-funded outreach campaign designed to push only positive coverage about COVID-19 vaccines and to censor any negative coverage, according to documents obtained by The Blaze.
The Biden administration made direct payments to nearly all major corporate media outlets to deploy a $1 billion taxpayer-funded outreach campaign designed to push only positive coverage about COVID-19 vaccines and to censor any negative coverage.
Media outlets across the nation failed to disclose the federal government as the source of ads in news reports promoting the shots to their audiences.
According to a Freedom of Information Request filed by The Blaze, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) purchased advertising from major news outlets including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.
HHS also ran media blitzes in major media publications including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Post, BuzzFeed News, Newsmax and hundreds of local TV stations and newspapers across the nation.
In addition to paying news outlets to push the vaccines, the federal government bought ads on TV, radio, in print and on social media as part of a “comprehensive media campaign,” HHS documents show.
The ad campaigns were timed in conjunction with the increased availability of COVID vaccines. They featured “influencers” and “experts,” including Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the White House and director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
In March 2021, Facebook announced a social media plan to “help get people vaccinated,” and worked with the Biden administration and U.S. health agencies to suppress what it called “COVID misinformation.”
BuzzFeed News advised everyone age 65 or older, people with health conditions that put them at high risk of severe illness from COVID, healthcare workers and those at high risk of exposure to the virus to get vaccine boosters, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Other publications, including the Los Angeles Times, featured advice from experts on how readers could convince “vaccine-hesitant people” to change their minds.
The Washington Post presented “the pro-vaccine messages people want to hear.”
Newsmax said COVID vaccines have “been demonstrated to be safe and effective” and “encouraged citizens, especially those at risk, to get immunized.”
Yet, the latest data from the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System shows 1,151,450 reports of adverse events from all age groups following COVID vaccines, including 24,827 deaths since Dec. 14, 2020.
Numerous scientists and public health experts have questioned the safety and efficacy of COVID vaccines, as well as the data underlying the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s authorization of the shots.
“These outlets were collectively responsible for publishing countless articles and video segments regarding the vaccine that were nearly uniformly positive about the vaccine in terms of both its efficacy and safety,” The Blaze reported.
Congress appropriates $1 billion tax dollars to ‘strengthen vaccine confidence’
In March 2021, Congress appropriated $1 billion U.S. tax dollars for the Secretary of Health and Human Services to spend on activities to “strengthen vaccine confidence in the United States,” with $3 billion set aside for the CDC to fund “support and outreach efforts” in states through community-based organizations and trusted leaders.
HHS’s public education efforts were co-chaired by U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, former National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins, Fauci, Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky — with Vice President Kamala Harris leading the effort from the White House.
Federal law allows HHS, acting through the CDC and other agencies, to award contracts to public and private entities to “carry out a national, evidence-based campaign to increase awareness and knowledge of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines for the prevention and control of diseases, combat misinformation about vaccines and disseminate scientific and evidence-based vaccine-related information, with the goal of increasing rates of vaccination across all ages … to reduce and eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases.”
HHS did not immediately respond to The Blaze when asked if the agency used taxpayer dollars to pay for people to be interviewed, or for a PR firm to place experts and celebrities in interviews with news outlets.
The Blaze also reached out to several news organizations whose editorial boards claimed “firewall policies” preventing advertisers from influencing news coverage, but which nevertheless took money from HHS for targeted ads.
“Advertisers pay for space to share their messages, as was the case here, and those ads are clearly labeled as such,” Shani George, vice president of communications for The Washington Post, said in a statement. “The newsroom is completely independent from the advertising department.”
To read the rest of the article, click here: Feds Secretly Paid Media to Promote COVID Shots