AP featured image
FILE – In this Sept. 1, 2015, file photo, James O’Keefe, President of Project Veritas Action, waits to be introduced during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington. Project Veritas, a conservative group known for undercover investigations, has been linked to a woman who falsely told the Washington Post that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore impregnated her as a teenager, the newspaper reported. “We don’t comment on investigations real or imagined, or imagined stings,” conservative activist and Project Veritas’ leader O’Keefe told The Associated Press Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

 

James O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas (PV), released a video which had been recorded at a drive-up coronavirus testing site located at the Cherry Medical Center in Grand Rapids, MI. A medical center insider worked with PV on the story.

A member of the ‘CBS Good Morning’ crew saw only one or two cars in line at the site and according to the insider, pulled medical professionals from the center and asked them to get into their cars and pretend to be patients waiting to get tested. They wanted to make sure to show a long line of cars.

O’Keefe, as always, made a video of the story. At times, he spoke to the “insider” and used a voice-changing device to maintain this man’s identity. O’Keefe told viewers, “Our insider witnessed the whole thing and came to Project Veritas, because he knew we would protect him. 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.”

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 replied, “A hundred percent. Absolutely.”

Several employees, spoke with the insider who was equipped with a hidden camera.

Nick Ross, a corporate cleaning site supervisor at the Cherry Health facility, told the insider he had been there “when the CBS News crew arrived and set up the video shoot” at the testing site in the parking lot. He said,  “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.”

An RN told him, “It’s just annoying cause we could have done other stuff.” She said they had been notified that the CBS News crew was coming. “We knew they were coming. We had no clue that we’re going to have to, like, do fake patients.”

A second RN, Alison Mauro, explained to the insider that they were not performing the actual squab test on the non-patients as CBS News was filming. She did say that the very few actual patients were forced to wait longer because of the “manufactured line.” She said,  “We pretended. There were a couple of real patients, which made it worse.”

PV reported that, “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.”

They probably have storage rooms full of PPE and masks.

It may appear that O’Keefe is trying to turn a minor offense into something far more serious, but here’s why this video is important.

CBS is trying to make the pandemic appear worse than it is. Look at the long line of people sitting in their cars waiting to be tested at a time when the curve has supposedly flattened and most Americans are anxious to return to work. A long line of cars tells a different story than one or two cars would tell.

Five weeks ago, “CBS This Morning” reported on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s emotional appeal to President Trump for additional ventilators. At the time, Vice President Mike Pence had promised to deliver 4,000 ventilators. Cuomo had requested 30,000, and he asks rhetorically, “What am I going to do with 400 ventilators when I need 30,000? You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die because you only sent 400 ventilators.”

To make the situation look a little more dire in New York than it was at the time, they used a video recorded at a crowded Italian hospital. The identical footage had been broadcast by Sky News own a story about the overcrowding in Italian hospitals. I posted on this story here.

Likewise, the president and CEO of the medical center makes sure to tell CBS they are short of necessary supplies. Interestingly, I just received an email from a reader who lives in Michigan who provided an update on his state. I have not verified the data. I am simply passing along what was sent to me.

(However, I posted over the weekend that the bulk of Michigan’s COVID cases are contained within the four counties closest to Detroit.)

State of Michigan COVID-19 Update as of Sunday, April 26th

48 days have passed since Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s state of emergency on March 10th.

Total deaths: 3,315

Top 6 Counties: 2,974 deaths or 90% of total
Wayne 1,580 or 47% of total
Oakland 620 or 19% of total
Macomb 520 or 16% of total
Genesee 161 or 5% of total
Washtenaw 50 or 1.5% of total
Saginaw 43 or 1% of total

61 (73%) of 83 counties in Michigan have (10) or less deaths

Ave age of death: 74.3 years old
86% of all deaths are 60 years or older

Total ventilators in MI: 3,541
Total ventilators available: 2,176 (61%)
Total ventilators in use for COVID patients: 832 or (23%)

Total hospital beds in MI: 23,831
Total beds occupied: 12,601 (53%)
Total COVID patients in beds: 2,667 (11%)

Total morgue capacity: 1,265
Availability: 739 (58%)

Gloves available: 46 MILLION
Masks: 9.6 MILLION

The curve for the number of new cases peaked on April 3 when there were 1,953 new cases reported compared to 447 May 5 (and 196 on May 4, their lowest number yet.)

So keep these statistics in mind when you hear CBS or any other network tell you how dire the situation is in the state.

CBS News issued a statement denying that they had staged the event which read:

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.

In an interview on Viacom.com, the program’s Executive Producer Diana Miller, informed viewers that the show was “making its coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic a priority.” She said, “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. We’ve always been driven by the news and want to provide context and clarity on the important stories of the day.”

Watch the video below:

Elizabeth Vaughn
Writer at RedState
MBA, former financial consultant, options trader
Mom of three grown children, grandmother
Email Elizabeth at [email protected]

 
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