Axios drew criticism Monday after it deleted a tweet fact-checking Vice President Kamala Harris, who repeated the debunked claim that the Biden administration is “starting from scratch” with its coronavirus vaccine rollout.
During an interview with Axios co-founder Mike Allen that aired on HBO Sunday, Harris was asked about the struggles of the administration’s response to the pandemic after nearly one month in office.
“There was no stockpile … of vaccines,” Harris responded. “There was no national strategy or plan for vaccinations. We were leaving it to the states and local leaders to try and figure it out. And so in many ways, we’re starting from scratch on something that’s been raging for almost an entire year!”
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Axios shared that exchange on Sunday evening, but included a comment by White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, who refuted CNN’s reporting last month that quoted anonymous Biden officials making the same claim.
“We certainly are not starting from scratch because there is activity going on in the distribution,” Fauci said during a White House press briefing.
That fact-checking tweet, however, was later deleted, leading to questions among eagle-eyed Twitter users.
“Why did Axios delete this tweet?” “Ruthless” podcast co-host and conservative Twitter personality Comfortably Smug asked.
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“Axios deleting this tweet seems suspicious given the revelations that a reporter for them who covers Kamala Harris is head over heels in love with a now former Biden Administration member. See the problem now guys? @mikeallen” conservative commentator Stephen Miller tweeted.
“They got Duckloed,” Tablet Magazine associate editor Noam Blum quipped.
Even the left-leaning fact-checker PolitiFact called out the vice president, declaring on Monday that her claim was “wrong.”
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As the Washington Examiner’s Jerry Dunleavy pointed out, Axios did reshare the clip of Harris’ exchange with Allen, though the tweet scrubbed Fauci’s comments that contradict the vice president’s claim.
Axios did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
This snafu comes on the heels of another Axios-related controversy involving reporter Alexi McCammond and her recently publicized relationship with former White House Deputy Press Secretary TJ Ducklo, who resigned from the Biden administration on Saturday after he berated a Politico reporter and threatened to “destroy” her for pursuing a story about their relationship.
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According to Axios, McCammond, previously covered President Biden during the 2020 presidential election and transition, was reassigned to cover “progressive politics” and Vice President Harris for the outlet. Critics argued the move still presented a conflict of interest, since Ducklo was still working for Harris’ boss before his resignation.