Fox News Walks Back COVID-19 Reporting After Sharing Debunked Coronavirus StoryDeadline
Fox News apologized on Monday night for reporting a story about COVID-19 numbers in Tennessee that has since been proven incorrect. The channel’s Steve Doocy apologized “for any confusion” about its reporting.
The story in question came from Nashville’s Fox channel WZTV wherein the station supposedly reported on “leaked emails” regarding COVID-19 numbers linked to bars and restaurants in the Tennessee city, accusing the Nashville Mayor of a coronavirus coverup. The story, which WZTV shared on Thursday, quickly made its way to Tucker Carlson Tonight and Fox & Friends in the following hours as the two programs heavily featured the incorrect reporting.
The Nashville Tennessean refuted the WZTV reporting a day after its publishing, which led to an investigation by U.S. senator Marsha Blackburn into Mayor John Cooper. The investigation shared that the mayor did not release coronavirus numbers and the specific bars and restaurants linked to the cases in fear of revealing private information for those who did test positive for the infectious disease, which would be a violate of federal privacy laws.
WZTV’s news director Bryan McGruder issued a statement to CNN saying that he and the news team “incorrectly asserted that Mayor Cooper’s office withheld COVID-19 data from the public, which implied that there had been a coverup.”
“We want to clarify that we do not believe there was any coverup, and we apologize for the error and oversight in our reporting,” he added.