Report: Feds Paid Hundreds of Media Companies to Promote Undisclosed “Advertorials” With Positive Coverage of COVID-19 Vaccines

File photo: Paul Brady Photography, Shutter Stock, licensed.
HHS purchased advertising on major network and cable news services to air and publish articles and videos portraying COVID-19 vaccines in a nearly unanimous positive light, both in terms of effectiveness and safety. Advertorials are common in news media, especially on social media and websites, but reputable outlets disclose and clearly highlight to readers they’re looking at paid or sponsored content. Failing to do so is not only disingenuous and shady, but it violates advertisement rules in the U.S. File photo: Paul Brady Photography, Shutter Stock, licensed.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by TheBlaze has revealed that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) purchased advertising on major network and cable news services – such as ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC – print media – such as the New York Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post – and digital media companies including BuzzFeed News and Newsmax.

All of these news outlets were paid expressly, TheBlaze says, to air and publish articles and videos portraying COVID-19 vaccines in a nearly unanimous positive light, both in terms of their effectiveness and safety.

This was a part of HHS’ “comprehensive media campaign,” TheBlaze reports, with the Biden Administration buying advertising throughout a variety of media, including television, radio, print, and social media, with the aim being to instill a sense of confidence in the public towards receiving the jab. In addition, “influencers” and medical experts – such as Dr. Anthony Fauci – were interviewed about the pandemic by various media outlets in order to promote inoculation.

The HHS was allotted $1 billion by Congress in 2021 to spend on programs that would “strengthen vaccine confidence in the United States.” However, it is not currently known how exactly that sum was divvied up between various news groups and organizations.


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Working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal agencies, HHS carried 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.”

The scope of HHS’ advertising means that likely anyone that has been exposed to any television, internet, or print news over the course of the past year has likely partaken of the agency’s COVID-19 advertising.

The fact that much of this content was actually being funded by taxpayer dollars was not publicly disclosed during these news reports; when asked for comment, several media organizations – such as the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post – stated this was due to editorial teams and advertising departments work independently of one another, and that news agencies have strict policies that prevent news coverage from being influenced or guided by advertisers.

Advertorials are common in news media, especially on social media and websites, but reputable outlets disclose and clearly highlight to readers they’re looking at paid or sponsored content. Failing to do so is not only disingenuous and shady, but it violates advertisement rules in the U.S. and other countries.

Independent journalist who left Fox to expose media corruption. A free press = a free people.
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