CBS News Had Health Workers Fake a Busy COVID-Testing Site by Posing as Patients
- ‘We Could Have Done Other Stuff,” Registered Nurse complains.
- ‘Apparently, the news crew wanted more people in the line,’ said a Cherry Health Supervisor.
- “We pretended. There were a couple of real patients, which made it worse,” Said
Another Registered Nurse.
A CBS News crew pulled medical professionals off the floor at the Cherry Medical Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to line up in their vehicles so a CBS film crew would have a long line for their COVID-19 coverage.
“Our insider witnessed the whole thing and came to Project Veritas, because he knew we would protect him,” said James O’Keefe, the founder and CEO of Project Veritas.
“The insider told us that medical personnel were taken away from treating patients and making the line longer for actual patients wait for the COVID-19 test,” he said.
In an interview with the insider, O’Keefe asked the insider: “You’re telling me you’re a hundred percent certain that CBS News, CBS News Corporation–national, staged a fake event. They faked the news. They faked the reality and broadcasted that to all of their audience last Friday on “CBS This Morning.”
The insider said to him: “A hundred percent. Absolutely.”
Nick Ross, a corporate cleaning site supervisor at the Cherry Health facility, said he was there when the CBS News crew arrived and set up the video shoot at the COVID-19 testing site in the parking lot, “Apparently the news crew wanted more people in the line because they knew it was scheduled.”
Maria Hernandez-Vaquez, a professional registration specialist, told the insider that Cherry Health Director of Quality and Informatics Glenda Walker helped to organize the facility’s workers into the COVID-19 testing line.
“It’s just annoying cause we could have done other stuff,” said one registered nurse there recorded with a hidden camera by a Project Veritas insider.
The nurse said personnel at the medical center were given the heads-up to expect the CBS News crew. “We knew they were coming. We had no clue that we’re going to have to, like, do fake patients.”
Another registered nurse, Alison Mauro, recorded on hidden camera, said she and other medical professionals working the drive-through testing site did not administer the actual swab swipe as CBS News was filming, but the actual patients were made to wait longer because of the manufactured line. “We pretended. There were a couple of real patients, which made it worse.”
The footage was used to accompany CBS News reporter Andriana Diaz’s narration and interview with Tasha Blackmon, the president and CEO of Cherry Health.
In the CBS News report, Blackmon told her facility needed gowns and N95 masks, which filter incoming breath to protect the medical professional.
Cherry Health President and CEO Tasha Blackmon told Project Veritas in a phone conversation: “We and CBS News had nothing to do with that line.”
Blackmon said she had not viewed the preview of the Project Veritas report that had been emailed to her, and that after reviewing the matter with her team, she would give Project Veritas a statement. Project Veritas followed up with phone calls and emails, but there was no further response before the deadline.
Project Veritas also spoke to CBS News President Susan Zirinsky, who agreed to review a preview of the report and send a statement.
The CBS News statement reads in full:
CBS News did not stage anything at the Cherry Health facility. Any suggestion to the contrary is 100% false. These allegations are alarming. We reached out to Cherry Health to address them immediately. They informed us for the first time that one of their chief officers told at least one staffer to get in the testing line along with real patients. No one from CBS News had any knowledge of this before tonight. They also said that their actions did not prevent any actual patients from being tested. We take the accuracy of our reporting very seriously and we are removing the Cherry Health portion from the piece.
“CBS This Morning” Executive Producer Diana Miller gave an interview to her parent company’s website Viacom.com, where she said the morning TV news show was making its coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic a priority.
“Whenever you’re chasing a story that’s developing, there are threads that emerge. Focusing on first responders has been important for us because they are on the frontlines, and it’s important we’re showing the reality of the situations they are in every day,” she said.
“We’ve always been driven by the news and want to provide context and clarity on the important stories of the day,” Miller said.
Source: Project Veritas
CBS News Blames Cherry Health Clinic For Staging FAKE COVID-19 TEST LINE, Takes Down Story From YouTube
CBS News denied it had any involvement in the faked line of cars staged for its “CBS This Morning” segment on COVID-19 testing, according to its May 5 statement to Project Veritas—an account disputed by a clinic insider.
This is the May 5 statement from CBS News:
CBS News did not stage anything at the Cherry Health facility. Any suggestion to the contrary is 100% false. These allegations are deeply disturbing. We reached out to Cherry Health to address them immediately. They informed us for the first time that one of their chief officers told at least one staffer to get in the testing line along with real patients. No one from CBS News had any knowledge of this prior to tonight. They also said that their actions did not prevent any real patients from being tested. We take the accuracy of our reporting very seriously and we are removing the Cherry Health portion from the piece.
The Cherry Health insider, who came forward to Project Veritas, said the CBS News crew working for CBS News reporter Andriana Diaz had to know what happened.
“Based on my knowledge, CBS News had asked Cherry Health to fabricate a line to obtain newsworthy footage, I was given this knowledge from a colleague at Cherry Health,” the insider said.
“After reviewing their response, I can say definitively that the majority of the line shown in their footage is fake, after CBS had gotten the shot they wanted the entire line dispersed and drove in separate directions,” the insider said.
“Some did U-turns others parked in nearby parking, and the rest just drove through the testing site without being tested,” the insider said. “As I stated previously, the nurses did exclaim frustration as it caused an unduly long wait time for a patient that actually needed the testing.”
James O’Keefe, the founder and CEO of Project Veritas, said he is not surprised by the fake footage running on CBS News.
“How many more stories have staged events to support a media outlet’s narrative,” he said. “CBS News was caught because someone stepped forward. We need more insiders to come forward—especially as our leaders make decisions during this pandemic based on what they see in the news.”
Tasha Blackmon, the president and CEO of the Cherry Health told Project Veritas she did not talk to anyone at CBS News about their statement.
“Let me be clear: We are not aware of CBS staging anything as part of their visit to our site,” Blackmon said. “I have never spoken with the president of CBS, or any other CBS executive.”
Blackmon was outside during the filming for an interview with CBS News reporter Andriana Diaz.
“I did see the line of cars in the video that you shared with me. I can assure you that I did not instruct any staff to get in their cars and line up and I have no idea when it was filmed or who was in each car,” she said.
“We served 34 patients with COVID-19 tests on the day of CBS visit,” she said. “Cherry Health provides care for over 70,000 patients spread across seven counties. Our patients are the underserved. In most cases, we are their only option for quality health care in the communities we serve.”
Source: Project Veritas