CBS News issued a clarification of sorts days after skepticism grew over a viral video of a crying nurse from Chicago who quit her job over face masks.
Critics questioned the veracity of the story and whether CBS News had even vetted the Instagram video of a lifestyle blogger later identified as a nurse named Imaris Vera. On Monday, after millions had seen the video and Sen. Bernie Sanders had even called attention to it, CBS News posted two tweets in a follow-up attempt to clarify the facts.
“In tears, a nurse says she quit her job after she was asked to work in a coronavirus ICU without a face mask,” CBS had captioned their initial tweet with the gut-wrenching video of Vera crying about a shortage of medical masks in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“America is not prepared and nurses are not being protected,” she said in the video, explaining that she was not allowed to wear her personal N95 mask and nurses in the coronavirus unit where she was working were not wearing masks at all.
Sanders shared the tweet and video on Sunday, adding to its millions of views.
It is insane that our nurses are being forced to care for the sick without masks and respirators. The Department of Labor must immediately issue emergency workplace standards to protect our health workers, their families, and their patients. https://t.co/Z8dWqtxz5X
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 5, 2020
But questions began surfacing about Vera’s claims and criticism began to spring up on Twitter, calling CBS News out for helping spread the video. The outlet appeared to be responding to the critics in tweets posted on Monday.
“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,’” CBS News tweeted.
“The hospital, Northwestern Medicine, acknowledged that Imaris Vera had quit her job, but referred CBS News to Vera as to the details of why,” a second tweet read.
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
News outlets and Twitter users pointed out the questionable parts of Vera’s claims on social media, noting that she had not worked in the hospital for over a year and pointing to her previous comments.
Hi @BernieSanders your girl wrote days before her histrionic video that she had anxiety and bi-polar depression, hadn’t been working in the hospital for over a year and didn’t know if she was ready to return. Maybe vet these people? Just a thought. https://t.co/0et5Y1d0ai pic.twitter.com/Z0gIu3Kbn4
— Rosie memos (@almostjingo) April 6, 2020
“So it turns out this video is entirely fraudulent,” Jordan Schachtel, the national security correspondent for Conservative Review, tweeted in a detailed thread examining Vera’s claims and noting she quit on her first day on the job.
Crisis actor 101 type stuff. Right out of the Jussie playbook. She is indeed a nurse, albeit one who hasn’t been on the job much. Everything else is lies, exaggerations, and unproven statements.
— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) April 6, 2020
So she had been on the job for a day or two, after taking a year off to pursue something resembling an Instagram model career, and she “quit” because of the conditions. Deliberate misrepresentation of her career means you cannot take her other statements at face value.
— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) April 6, 2020
“Prior to CBS picking up this video, Imaris posted on her public Facebook page that she has anxiety and bi-polar depression and had not been an employee at the hospital for over a year. She mentioned in her post that she was unsure if she was ready to return to her job,” The Federalist reported Monday. “Imaris also said the growing volume of information on coronavirus ‘triggers’ her.”
“Nurses and medical workers are working tirelessly with inadequate protection gear, and they are the real heroes,” The Federalist article continued. “For an Instagram ‘influencer’ to deliberately misrepresent her career for the instant glorification of internet fame is sickening.”
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