A CNN “fact checker” posted a selectively cut quote from President Donald Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing on Monday that another CNN employee then used to falsely suggest a conspiracy theory that Trump was “hoarding ventilators” to give them to “Russia.”
Fact checker Daniel Dale posted a tweet that stated: “Trump again criticizes governors for not stocking up on ventilators before this. He says the US will soon have excess and help other countries: ‘I think Russia is going to need ventilators. They’re having a hard time in Moscow. We’re going to help them.'”
Approximately 30 minutes later, CNN analyst Asha Rangappa, who is a former FBI Special Agent, quote retweeted Dale’s tweet, writing, “He’s hoarding ventilators to give to…Russia??!?”
However, a review of the transcript and video from the press conference shows that Trump mentioned other countries that the U.S. would be helping, which both CNN employees conveniently did not mention in their tweets.
“We’re going to be helping other nations,” Trump said. “We’re going to be helping Italy, Spain, France, other nations, and we’re going to be helping them strongly. I think Russia is going to need ventilators. They’re having a hard time in Moscow. We’re going to help them. We’re going to help other countries that need ventilators. We’re going to have a lot. You see it with General Motors, you see it with other companies that are producing… We’re going to have hundreds of thousands of ventilators and it’s a great thing to have.”
Trump: “We’re going to be helping Italy, Spain, France, other nations & we’re going to be helping them strongly. I think Russia is going to need ventilators. They’re having a hard time in Moscow. We’re going to help them. We’re going to help other countries that need ventilators” pic.twitter.com/gWLfNSChJH
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) April 16, 2020
The Daily Mail reported on Wednesday:
Moscow is heading for a similar level of coronavirus infection as New York, a leading Russian virologist has warned.
Professor Sergei Netesov says Moscow is facing a major crisis with hospitals already in emergency mode and the health service stretched to the limit.
Moscow’s usually crowded streets and busy 12 million population make it an ideal breeding ground for the epidemic in the same way as New York, the professor said, warning that lockdown measures may have come too late.
“New York streets are crowded, especially in Manhattan, the same as we have within the Garden Ring in Moscow. People communicate actively, they are used to eating out two or three times a day,” Netesov said. “There is a lot of conditions for the disease to spread – that’s why we have such an outbreak. We will have the same picture [as New York], especially in Moscow. I very much suspect this although I don’t want it.”
“Russia is at the beginning stage of the epidemic. We practically got 80 per cent of new cases in a matter of one week. The death rate is calculated based on those who got infected two, three, or four weeks ago,” Netesov continued. “Our numbers are not displaying the real picture yet. We are only seeing the top of the iceberg because we don’t know how many asymptomatic cases we have.”
A recent update from the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center showed that Russia was reporting nearly 28,000 coronavirus cases with 232 deaths. There is a lot of skepticism surrounding the accuracy of the numbers that are being reported by China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.