CNN reported that South Africa surpassed 300k COVID-19 cases. The outlet also revealed via their banner on the Live, that the country also recorded 14,000 deaths. Attributed to correspondent David McKenzie, the report shocked South Africans as the death figures are way inflated. As of Saturday, July 18th, the actual figure reported by the Ministry of Health stood at 4,948. Angry South Africans slammed CNN for fake reporting.
CNN inflates COVID-19 deaths in South Africa
On Twitter, people took CNN to task for making an error and inflating the number of deaths in the country. Many people took screenshots of the video where the headline read, “Coronavirus Pandemic.” The banner under it said, “South Africa surpasses 300,000+ cases, 14,000 deaths.” While several people shared the post with incredulity, one user, @rsk_lsg got a lot of responses. They captioned the photo of the CNN report with, “Guys did you see this they really said 14k deaths #COVID19inSA.”
CNN responded to the post. CNN International PR said, “Our script was correct, but unfortunately there was a mistake on the banner, which should have read 4,453 deaths (the WHO figure at the time). We regret the error.” But that didn’t satisfy South African viewers, who say they now understand why Donald Trump calls their network “Fake News.”
— Lesego (@rsk_lsg) July 18, 2020
Inflated figures trouble South Africans as people already feel afraid
Recently, Zindzi Mandela, the daughter of Nelson and Winnie Mandela passed away. Her family confirmed she tested positive for the coronavirus. Ironically, the 18th of June is Mandela Day. The news that CNN reported about many more deaths than actually occurred alarms people a lot. People simply don’t take fake news well. Even in error, they believe it’s totally unacceptable. In an effort to avoid fake news even crowd-sourced news sites like Blasting News double-check stories on COVID-19 for accuracy.
They do that so they retain their green flag from News Guard. First, the submission gets fact-checked by a reviewer. Then it goes on hold for senior content admins to double-check the facts against reputable sources like the CDC, etc. That also goes for the videos they create on the site. South Africans think a short apology from CNN‘s not good enough. One follower noted, “@CNN EXPLAIN YOURSELVES! #COVID19inSA.”
Other critics slam CNN
Many people complained about CNN. And, if you think they’re all white supremacists, you’d be wrong. South Africans of differing races and status commented about it. Here’s what some of them said about it:
- “CNN is well known for FAKE news, including BBC World News. No wonder @realDonaldTrump doesn’t like them.”
- “@cnn stop fabricating we live in SA.”
- “Fake news where do we report such?”
- “It’s almost 5k deaths …@CNN & @McKenzieCNN are just doing what they usually do… report fake news.”
- “This is not just ‘fake news’ it’s ‘faaaaaaaaaaaaake news’.”
- “They apologized for it, said something went wrong with the banner. I, on the other hand, think it might have been intentional, they thought we wouldn’t notice.”
- “Now imagine if they lying about our country, how many more things about covid-19 they’ve lied about, let alone from the start of their airing as the news Channel.”
— Priscilla Mensah (@MensahP007) July 19, 2020
Many similar skeptical comments went the way of CNN for inflating the COVID-19 deaths in the country. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.
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