According to Sacramento Bee columnist Gil Duran, it is possible Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) could be on the receiving end of one lawsuit, or even more, over comments he has made when asked about the coronavirus epidemic while appearing on Fox News.
Noting that the conservative news network has already been sued by an activist group over misinformation delivered by several of their co-hosts -- that led to one leaving the network -- Duran pointed out that 10 people have died in Tulare County which is represented by the GOP lawmaker.
"Ten people in Tulare County – where I was born and raised – have died from COVID-19 so far. Tulare County is also the home of Rep. Devin Nunes," Duran wrote. "Yet the Republican congressman continues to downplay the coronavirus threat in his regular Fox News appearances. Now, an activist group is suing Fox for its campaign to mislead viewers about the virus. If people in Fresno and Tulare get sick or die due to misinformation spread by Nunes, could the congressman – who is currently suing seven press organizations – find himself on the receiving end of lawsuits?"
Admitting he has no idea why Nunes is such a skeptic about the coronavirus epidemic, Durn wrote that the lawmaker is "appears to think the pandemic is a joke."
"No one is laughing at the Redwood Springs Health Care Center, a Visalia nursing home where COVID-19 has now killed three elderly victims. Sixty of Tulare County’s 168 coronavirus cases appear to be connected to the facility, according to the Times-Delta, " the columnist pointed out. "Nunes hasn’t even bothered to tweet condolences. But he did make time this week to attack Gov. Newsom and blame “dirty rats” in the press for criticizing him, reported Carla Marinucci of Politico," adding the Republican claimed, “I’m going to have to take them all to court."
Now, Duran suggests, Nunes could see himself sued by citing the pandemic misinformation lawsuit Fox News is facing.
"'The lawsuit by the Washington League for Increased Transparency and Ethics says 'defendants acted in bad faith to willfully and maliciously disseminate false information denying and minimizing the danger posed by the spread of the novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, which is now recognized as an international pandemic," he quoted.
"The United States Constitution makes it tough to sue for things some might consider free speech, and members of Congress have special protections. Yet the Fox lawsuit shows the degree to which some feel the misinformation campaign has crossed the line and endangered lives," he cautioned. "Can COVID-19 victims successfully sue Fox 'News' for its consistent stream of misinformation about the coronavirus? Might the infamously litigious Nunes find himself targeted by legal action if the death toll in Fresno and Tulare counties continues to climb? Tragically, we may soon find out."
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