A CNN report that four Broward County teachers died from COVID in a single day is yet another example of how the network plays fast and loose with the facts as one of America’s foremost purveyors of misinformation.
With hysteria over the coronavirus once again reaching levels previously seen last spring during the early stages of the outbreak, the self-proclaimed “most trusted name in news” dialed up the fear over the deaths of the teachers when it cited a report from a Miami television station.
“More breaking news, we have a sad development we just learned of out of Florida,” said “New Day” anchor John Berman.
“WFOR is reporting that four teachers from Broward County have died of COVID in a single day. The teachers’ union chief told the affiliate that three of the four, at least three of the four were unvaccinated. The status of the fourth not currently known,” Berman added.
BREAKING: WFOR is reporting that 4 teachers from Broward county have died of covid in a single day.
Three were unvaccinated. We don’t know the status of the 4th. pic.twitter.com/uT4XW7irc5
— Brianna Keilar (@brikeilarcnn) August 13, 2021
However, the CNN report lacks the critical context that students have not yet returned to classrooms in Broward County, meaning that the professional occupation of those who died isn’t relevant because they did not come down with COVID while on the job.
CNN’s report also served as a thinly-veiled attack on Republican Governor Ron DeSantis who has defied the Biden administration on mask mandates and is being falsely blamed by much of the media for the high number of cases in Florida, the nation’s third most populous state.
“In one day,” Berman stressed. “And this is the context with which these officials in Broward County are asking for the freedom to make the decisions that they think are right for their schools,” all but openly admitting that the story was another hit piece on DeSantis.
DeSantis is also battling school officials in Broward County, a Democrat stronghold that has refused to follow his orders allowing parents to make their own decision on whether their children would wear masks when they return to classrooms next week.
CNN’s shoddy reporting further fell apart when it also had to admit that the dead were not all teachers.
A correction was added to the online version of the story: “An earlier version of this story mischaracterized one of the four people who died based on information provided by the Broward Teachers Union. That person has been identified as a female Broward County Public Schools graduate with close ties to the school district through her job.”
A tweet of the original story was deleted but anchor Brianna Keilar’s posting of the segment remains up.
Twitter’s reaction was not kind to CNN with many pointing out the failure to include key details and accusing the network of trafficking in “fear porn.”
— Siraj Arthur Hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) August 13, 2021
The CDC says that 617,096 Americans have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. CNN decided to focus on these four (or three or two) tragic deaths because it is an advocacy outfit before it is a news organization. pic.twitter.com/kPJhcKZRi0
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) August 13, 2021
School hasn’t started in Broward County and they weren’t vaccinated. In other words, their job had nothing to do with their Covid.
— ET14112 (@et14112) August 13, 2021
It’s amazing the dead unvaccinated teachers aren’t getting the “lol unvaccinated person died” point and laugh treatment from the media. Just shows the priority list and at the top is hurting Gov. DeSantis. I get it but be less obvious, come on.
— Karol Markowicz (@karol) August 13, 2021
CNN has been hit by cratering ratings since former President Donald J. Trump left office, depriving the cable network of the primary source of its coverage over the last five years and it is likely that upper management sees fearmongering over COVID and the delta variant as a way to recapture some of its lost viewership regardless of the consequences.
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