As the old adage instructs, “There are none so blind as those who do not wish to see,” which is exactly how CBS News and others can be described in their latest coverage of a questionable viral video that was quickly reported without proper scrutiny.
The story this time is from a nurse who claimed she had to quit her job because the hospital she worked for was so overwhelmed that she was forced to care for coronavirus patients without any protective equipment.
But CBS News shared a video from the nurse on Sunday without so much as initially verifying her identity.
“In tears, a nurse says she quit her job after she was asked to work in a coronavirus ICU without a face mask: ‘America is not prepared, and nurses are not being protected,'” the news outlet tweeted to introduce the clip.
In tears, a nurse says she quit her job after she was asked to work in a coronavirus ICU without a face mask: “America is not prepared, and nurses are not being protected” https://t.co/ywoSuLOPYP pic.twitter.com/S5BsnlO5nt
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 5, 2020
“I quit my job today,” a tearful Vera begins in the clip. “I wanted to work, and I was assigned to a COVID patient on an ICU unit that has been converted to a designated COVID unit.”
“None of the nurses are wearing masks, not even surgical masks in the hallways when they’re giving report to each other,” she continues. “I had my own N95 mask. I told my manager, I understand we’re short on supplies, but let me protect myself,” she pleads as her voice cracks, “let me feel safe.”
“I have family that I have to come home to, and the way things are looking, this isn’t gonna get any better.”
“America is not prepared, and nurses are not being protected,” she concludes as she covers her face with a trembling hand.
The problem with Vera’s video is that while there were a few kernels of truth scattered throughout her statement, the overall narrative — that she was denied permission to wear a mask — was false.
In a retraction tweeted Monday, CBS was forced to walk back the veracity of Vera’s previous claim with her own “clarification” of the event:
“Imaris Vera, the nurse in this video, clarified her experience on Monday in a tweet: ‘We were each assigned 1 N95 per 1 covid patient’s room but was not allowed to wear it outside of the room, wear our own N95 mask around the Nurses station or Halls, which I came prepared with.'”
The network further explained that, “The hospital, Northwestern Medicine, acknowledged that Imaris Vera had quit her job, but referred CBS News to Vera as to the details of why.”
The hospital, Northwestern Medicine, acknowledged that Imaris Vera had quit her job, but referred CBS News to Vera as to the details of why.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 6, 2020
CBS tacitly admitted that Vera had misrepresented the hospital’s situation: Certain mask protocols were in place at the facility where Vera worked, but nurses were indeed provided with N95 masks.
Further digging by an intrepid Twitter user uncovered a Facebook post in which Vera claimed she suffered from anxiety and bipolar disorder. She also wrote that she was apprehensive about returning to work amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The user called out another early adopter of Vera’s narrative, 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
“Four days into the job and 90% are dying and on ventilators. Notice she admits information TRIGGERS her. Ya, think?”
Four days into the job and 90% are dying and on ventilators. Notice she admits information TRIGGERS her. Ya, think? pic.twitter.com/ANbDCFOhiz
— Rosie memos (@almostjingo) April 6, 2020
While other medical professionals are on the front lines dealing with the influx of patients and working tirelessly to care for the sick, this nurse took to social media to make her exaggerated claim, and the establishment media bought it hook, line and sinker.
Consider the way the story of the Jussie Smollett attack would not have held up to the slightest scrutiny had the media been interested in doing its job.
There were holes in the actor’s story about an alleged racist attack on the streets of Chicago in below-freezing temperatures, but the media ignored them because the idea that a black man was assaulted while his attackers shouted, “this is MAGA country” was too tempting to pass up.
It seems that any time they can advance their narrative, liberals cannot resist what often amounts to fool’s gold. Despite the seriousness of the crisis, the coronavirus pandemic coverage is not immune to this thirst for supporting stories, regardless of how dubious the claims are.
Because there have been some legitimate shortages as hospitals deal with an influx of patients, the establishment media exploits the narrative for the purpose of smearing President Donald Trump.
Vera is grappling with some mental health issues, and no doubt her emotions are genuine. However, her one-sided and unverified claim did not deserve the attention it received from major media outlets with a modicum of journalistic skepticism.
Nobody can blame Imaris Vera for how she felt that day, but the media — whose job it is to fact-check and honestly report — make her and the viewing public victims of their fake news.
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