RETRACTION, Sept. 22, 2020: The Western Journal has retracted this article after the Thursday report from WZTV-TV was discovered to be false. The report misinterpreted and misrepresented information from its sources, and the station retracted the article Friday.
In a statement to CNN Business, the station apologized for the error. “[W]e incorrectly asserted that Mayor Cooper’s office withheld COVID-19 data from the public, which implied that there had been a coverup. We want to clarify that we do not believe there was any coverup, and we apologize for the error and oversight in our reporting.”
“We continue to have questions about the level of transparency that the government showed to the restaurant and bar industry – whose livelihood was on the line,” the statement added. “As journalists, we will continue to ask those questions and hold elected officials accountable.”
We apologize to our readers for any confusion our coverage of this report may have caused.