When a nurse in South Dakota came to CNN with a sensational story about the coronavirus, the network just couldn’t resist: patients who were dying from the virus, she claimed, were convinced the pandemic isn’t real.
But after journalists investigated and found no evidence to back the story up, CNN is staying mum, Fox News reported.
CNN silent as story unravels
Nurse Jodi Doering’s story went viral after she tweeted about her experience caring for dying patients “who still don’t believe the virus is real” and “who scream at you for a magic medicine and that Joe Biden is going to ruin the USA.”
Doering went on CNN, which gleefully promoted the story as a morality tale about COVID denialism. “It wasn’t one particular patient. It’s just a culmination of so many people, and their last, dying words are, ‘This can’t be happening, it’s not real.’ And when they should be spending time FaceTiming their families, they’re filled with anger and hatred, and it just made me really sad,” the nurse told CNN’s New Day.
Extraordinary claims, but independent journalists who looked into the story have found no corroboration for them. In a column for Wired titled, “Are COVID Patients Gasping ‘It Isn’t Real’ As They Die?”, journalist David Zweig slammed CNN for credulously accepting the story, with the rest of the liberal news media following suit.
The journalist said that he reached out to hospitals in the area, including a hospital where Doering works, Huron Regional Medical Center. No one said they had heard of what she was describing. He also notes that only six people have succumbed to the virus at Huron.
A South Dakota ER nurse @JodiDoering says her Covid-19 patients often “don’t want to believe that Covid is real.”
“Their last dying words are, ‘This can’t be happening. It’s not real.’ And when they should be… Facetiming their families, they’re filled with anger and hatred.” pic.twitter.com/tgUgP6znAT
— New Day (@NewDay) November 16, 2020
The National Review also sought to verify the story, but could not.
“No one else has gotten that statement back from a patient, specifically,” Kim Rieger, a spokeswoman for Huron, said. “Nor have they heard of that happening here. Not to call her a liar, because she provides care here as well as other hospitals, so it could have happened at another hospital.”
Is there an angle here that is being missed? South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is known for her opposition to mask mandates and lockdowns. As it happens, Doering has criticized Noem on her Twitter account, along with President Donald Trump and Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
Suffice to say that this story has not been verified, not that that ever mattered to CNN. The outlet devoted more than 23 minutes to the story over two days, according to Newsbusters.
“Of course, CNN has yet to air an acknowledgment or correction because, when there’s a narrative to push, CNN subscribes to the mantra of if it rings true, it is true,” wrote Newsbusters managing editor Curtis Houck.