Laura Ingraham Fox News

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Laura Ingraham tweets fake news about coronavirus death count

She clearly didn't check her sources.


Claire Goforth


Published May 4, 2020   Updated May 4, 2020, 10:48 am CDT

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Fox News personalities have consistently employed a strategy of coronavirus denialism to drum up support for reopening businesses. Common consensus is that the network is concerned that an economic downturn would hurt the president’s reelection chances.

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To wit, yesterday Laura Ingraham tweeted an article claiming that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had revised the coronavirus death toll down by half.

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If true, this would be huge news. But of course it’s not.

The facts are grossly misstated in the article Ingraham linked to in Trending Politics—which Media Bias describes as “hyper-partisan” with an extremely conservative bias and “mixed” record of factual reporting. The CDC has not, as it claims, reduced the death count from more than 67,000 to roughly 37,000.

The data Trending Politics bases its “reporting” on is from the National Vital Statistics System, which has a lag time of between one and eight weeks, thus the numbers are not up-to-date.

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Indeed, if the author had bothered to read the text of the page linked in their article, they’d have seen numerous references to this very fact, including in a disclaimer at the top of the page: “Death counts are delayed and may differ from other published sources.”

Further, if they’d taken 30 seconds to re-Google the death count, they’d find a link to the CDC’s coronavirus-dedicated page that reports a death count of nearly 66,000 as of May 3.

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But instead of checking their work, Trending Politics published some breathless prose about 67,000 deaths being a “scam” to inflate the death count and likened coronavirus to the flu.

Ingraham is just one of the many who shared the inaccurate article. By the time she tweeted it, BuzzFeed News had already published an article debunking it.

Many called her on the irresponsible reporting.
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While some, like Joe Rogan, have deleted their tweets linking to the misleading data, Ingraham has made no effort to correct her mistake. As of this writing, Trending Politics has also not corrected its article, which the site reports has been viewed nearly 190,000 times—if you can believe that.


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*First Published: May 4, 2020, 10:46 am CDT