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Viral interview of nurse who claimed COVID patients’ ‘deathbed denialism’ falls apart, CNN silent

CNN’s Alisyn Camerota did an explosive interview with South Dakota emergency room nurse Jodi Doering that went viral. She claimed that patients dying from coronavirus often don’t believe it. Her story seems to be unraveling and could be a “massive exaggeration” if not worse.

The video got more than 5.8 million views on Twitter. NewsBusters conducted a study, indicating that CNN spent 23 minutes and 38 seconds on Doering’s tale over a two-day period. National Review and Wired couldn’t find anyone to confirm Doering’s claims of coronavirus patients “who still don’t believe the virus is real” and that it’s instead a conspiracy theory.

“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,” NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck wrote.

“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 on “New Day” last week.

CNN digital producer-turned-Fourth Watch editor Steve Krakauer addressed the incident in his newsletter. He said that Doering is “generally gross” for choosing to go on TV and share the private words of dying patients.

“Even if the nurse wanted to do this, why would CNN want to give a platform to this awful, inhumane treatment of dying Americans? The story was written up in The Washington Post, USA Today, and others. Elizabeth Warren quote-tweeted it,” Krakauer stated. “But … was it real?”

Journalist David Zweig wrote a column: “Are COVID Patients Gasping ‘It Isn’t Real’ As They Die?” for the tech publication Wired, saying, “An ER nurse’s anecdote of deranged denialism went viral. But when the media caught wind of the story, reporters didn’t do their jobs.”

Zweig is a writer for The Atlantic, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, among other media outlets. He looked into Doering’s claim and did some background on the nurse. He spoke with hospitals in the same area of South Dakota as well. No one had the same experience or had even heard of it happening.

The National Review also checked out the claim and failed to find any other nurses in the area who witnessed the things Doering said transpired.

For CNN’s part… they are staying mum on the subject.

Krakauer believes CNN should have verified the nurse’s accusations before airing the segment and giving her a platform for what some might view as political propaganda.

“Had they done any journalistic legwork, like Wired and National Review did, Doering would likely still be getting Twitter traction to tell what appears to be, at the least, a massive exaggeration … but not a national TV spotlight,” Krakauer wrote.

Doering was interviewed on CNN’s “New Day” with co-host Alisyn Camerota and then clips from the sit down were used on a variety of other programs including “CNN Newsroom” with Brianna Keilar, “CNN Tonight” with Don Lemon and it was mentioned on Jake Tapper’s “The Lead.” Other media outlets such as The Hill also ran with the story. It appears no one at CNN bothered to verify the woman’s version of events.

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