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Dangerous: ABC, CBS Spread COVID Vaccine Misinformation, Cheer Cuomo Gaslighting

Dangerous: ABC, CBS Spread COVID Vaccine Misinformation, Cheer Cuomo Gaslighting

Showing no concern for or faith in the country’s scientific community, ABC’s World News Tonight and the CBS Evening News tag-teamed on Thursday to nudge Americans to become anti-vaxxers on a potential coronavirus vaccine due to the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 

And, naturally, they ignored the facts regarding government approval of any vaccine(s) and cheered the scandal-plagued Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) encouraging New Yorkers to not get it until he said so.

ABC anchor David Muir warned in a tease that Trump was “threatening to overrule the FDA” and bragged there are “states where they now say they’ll have their own review of any vaccine.”

As he did in the tease, he used part of his lead-in to senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce’s story (as she would do as well) to divide the Coronavirus Task Force by implying Dr. Tony Fauci would ensure scientists prevailed against the President.

Bruce began her report with the misinformation (click “expand”):

BRUCE: After touting the coronavirus vaccine by election day, President Trump is threatening to reject stricter safety standards that could slow down its release, once again, undermining his own health officials. 

TRUMP [on 09/24/20]: Well, I’ll tell you what, we are looking at that. And that has to be approved by the White House. We may or may not approve it. That sounds like a political move. 

BRUCE: Tonight, four vaccines are in their final trials. But new rules from the FDA would reportedly require drug makers to monitor trial volunteers for an additional two months. Dr. Anthony Fauci coming to the FDA’s defense. 

FAUCI: If they look at it and say we really feel strongly we should go this way, I would back the scientists. I would have to do that as a scientist.

She added: “The FDA declined to comment on the President’s threat, but just hours earlier, testifying on Capitol Hill, the FDA commissioner was adamant — they are being guided by science, not politics.”

CBS White House correspondent Weijia Jiang dubbed Trump’s claims “controversial remarks” threatening to “override scientists” even though Fauci said, in her words, that “the safety of a vaccine works independently of politics and will not be beholden to President Trump.”

If ABC and CBS cared about the facts, they would have found that all of this was debunked during Thursday’s White House press briefing (which was attended by reporters from both networks).

When asked about Trump “overrul[ing] stricter standards” by Reuters’s Jeff Mason, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said:

Well, the FDA does have strict standards.  They are the gold standard with regard to vaccines. The President was referring to the normal interagency process that happens with guidance, and that includes running through the Office of Management and Budget.  So that’s standard operating procedure. And I would also point out — I spoke to Dr. Hahn this morning, and Dr. Hahn said that the guidance issued was a follow-up to June 30th guidance that they put out, and it was guidance — it was guidance that they gave to pharmaceutical companies to provide them with more regulatory clarity. 

In other words, the media have created another false narrative. Who knew!?

Back in the land of TDS, Bruce invoked the governor whose policies sent thousands of senior citizens to their deaths in nursing homes as a source of sanity while more Americans have come to preemptively distrust any and all coronavirus vaccines because Orange Man Bad (click “expand”):

BRUCE: With concerns that the White House is increasingly injecting politics into the pandemic response, New York today announced it’s going to conduct its own review of any vaccine. 

CUOMO: Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion, and I wouldn’t recommend to New Yorkers, based on the federal government’s opinion. 

BRUCE: Tonight, at least five other states and Washington, D.C., have also said they would conduct their own evaluations before distributing a vaccine.


MUIR: [A]mid all this talk, these latest headlines that the President is threatening to overrule the FDA’s stricter guidelines with a vaccine and Americans are growing increasingly skeptical about all of this. 

BRUCE: In fact, David, one recent poll shows a significant drop in the percentage of Americans who say they would definitely or probably get a vaccine. Down 21 percent since back in May, now roughly half of Americans say they would probably take a vaccine and roughly half say they will not.

Over on CBS, anchor Norah O’Donnell bragged about Cuomo’s position by hyping questions about “trusting the vaccine” and Jiang relaying Cuomo’s doubts about “the administration’s credibility” and having told New Yorkers that he’s “not going to trust the federal government’s opinion.”

In contrast, NBC Nightly News devoted their vaccine coverage to what’s already a mass run on dry ice (as many of the possible vaccines must be stored at extremely low temperatures) and what states are doing to prepare for vaccine distribution.

NBC was also the only network to bring up the President’s focus on health care, but as usual, White House correspondent Peter Alexander took a pot shot at an executive order to ensure protection for Americans with pre-existing conditions:

And tonight with millions of Americans losing their health insurance in the pandemic, President Trump signed what’s largely a symbolic executive order making it U.S. government policy that people with pre-existing conditions should be protected. But right now, the Trump administration is in court trying to strike down ObamaCare, which already guarantees that protection by law.

This blatant anti-vaxxer campaign was made possible by advertisers such as Google (on ABC) and Allegra (on CBS). Follow the links to the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page. CBS Evening News has also asked people to “text Norah” at this number: (202) 217-1107.

To see the relevant transcripts from August 24, click “expand.”

Published at Thu, 24 Sep 2020 21:06:00 +0000