TheHill report the Washington Post’s “fact-checker” column awarded four Pinocchios to a video tweeted out by 2020 Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden that claimed that a top Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official had been “silenced” amid the coronavirus crisis.
Tuesday’s fact-check, which concluded the claim was “simply wrong” and created a “false narrative,” came after the former vice president tweeted an informational coronavirus video that included Ron Klain, a former Biden aide who served as President Obama’s Ebola czar in 2014 Ebola.
In the video, Klain alleges there was “immediate blowback” after Dr. Nancy Messonnier, “a career official at the Centers for Disease Control who was the first to raise the alarm” on the coronavirus threat, was sidelined by the Trump administration.
“Starting the next day, Dr. Messonnier no longer appeared at public briefings of the White House coronavirus task force. The president and the White House sent a clear message to scientists in the government — there would be a price for speaking out and speaking up,” Klain claims.
Everyone knows that we're facing a real crisis from the coronavirus. But do you know how we got here and what we need to do next? Ron Klain, former White House Ebola Response Coordinator, breaks it down for us: pic.twitter.com/XRkIw2EzM4
— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) March 21, 2020
The fact-check notes, however, that Messonnier’s superior, Anne Schuchat, participated in a press conference with President Trump the next day.
“If you look closely, you will see there is a woman standing next to Trump. Who’s that? Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s principal deputy director — and Messonnier’s superior,” the fact-check reads.
“Meanwhile, far from being silenced, Messonnier kept doing her telephone briefings with reporters — on Feb. 28, Feb. 29, March 3 and March 9. She also appeared in four videos shared on social media” including on March 14,” it adds.
“The video created a false narrative. The Biden campaign earns Four Pinocchios,” the fact-check concludes.