Fox News Admits ‘No Way’ To Confirm Guest’s Lie That Asylum Seekers Will Bring Smallpox

October 29, 2018 5:24 p.m.

Fox News’ Charles Payne took a few seconds at the end of the 4 p.m. hour Monday to note that the network has “no way of independently confirming” a guest’s baseless assertion that migrants and asylum seekers heading toward the U.S. border will bring with them “diseases such as smallpox and leprosy and TB [Tuberculosis] that are going to infect our people in the United States.”

“Earlier in this hour, one of our guests said some of the people in the caravan may have diseases like leprosy and TB,” Payne said. “Well, we want to say we have no way of independently confirming this, and we wanted to clarify that point for you.” 

Payne’s correction was itself inaccurate.

The guest, former ICE agent David Ward, actually said that the migrants and asylum seekers “are coming in with diseases.” He did not say they “may” have diseases. 

Payne also left out Ward’s lie that among the diseases the migrants and asylum seekers carry with them is smallpox. As the Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale noted, naturally occurring smallpox was eradicated four decades ago. The claim is impossible.

Media Matters’ Andrew Lawrence flagged Ward’s comments on Monday. Ward also made the baseless claim that “we’ve got all sorts of people — not only from Central America — but they’re coming in from Africa, from the Middle East, and other places, in this caravan.”

Ward’s comments came just hours after “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade complained about the “diseases” that “countries’ entire populations” would bring with them. Watch Ward’s appearance below:

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