BBC Northern Ireland has issued an apology for broadcasting a clip of a member of the public calling coronavirus a "conspiracy".
Shown on Thursday's BBC Newsline, the comment was made during a report on an outbreak of the virus in Newcastle, Co Down.
After a formal complaint was made to the BBC, the clip has been removed, with an apology issued for not challenging the controversial view in the report.
PUP councillor John Kyle, who has a background as a GP, said airing such views could be misleading and hurtful to those who have lost loved ones to coronavirus.
"People who believe in conspiracy theories will jump to the conclusion that this is a conspiracy," he told the Belfast Telegraph.
"But I think there is overwhelming evidence that this is a serious and life-threatening infection for some people, even though others will only have minor symptoms.
"I think to pretend otherwise is to deceive yourself and put you and others at serious risk."
Asked about the clip being broadcast on prime time, he said: "I think it is upsetting to people who have lost family members from Covid-19 infection.
"Views like that have the potential to be dangerously misleading but I do commend the BBC for acting so promptly to remove the clip."
A BBC spokesperson said: "The inclusion of this clip was an error of judgment and it was removed from later bulletins and from the BBC Newsline Facebook page.
"The BBC is a platform for engagement and debate, but ideas which fall outside the scientific mainstream should be scrutinised and challenged, which did not happen in this instance."
A letter of apology was also issued by BBC Northern Ireland's head of news, Adam Smyth, in response to the complaint.
In the letter, Mr Smyth said the BBC's editorial guidelines in this area have been "reinforced with news teams".
Newcastle was the scene of a major Covid-19 cluster in recent days.
Three businesses in the town reported outbreaks of the virus among staff this week.
One of the businesses Kent Amusements, located on the Central Promenade, announced on social media it was closing until further notice.
A Covid-19 testing unit has been opened at St Mary's Primary School in Newcastle.
Local Sinn Fein MP Chris Hazzard welcomed the move.
He said: "I am encouraging anyone in the Newcastle area who has developed COVID-19 symptoms to avoid contact with others and to urgently get tested for the virus."