Journalists used Twitter to spread fake news about President Donald Trump and the coronavirus, falsely reporting that he suggested it was okay to go to work if you have the illness.
Trump’s statement came during a Wednesday interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. Trump said that many people with the coronavirus could have a mild form of it. He added that many would “get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work. Some of them go to work, but they get better.”
Huffpost wrote an article about the comments and included a viral tweet from Matt Rogers, the chief strategist of Politidope, Inc., a for-profit social impact organization.
Rogers’s tweet included a clip of Trump speaking about the virus. He claimed that the president was “telling the country it’s okay to go to work with Coronavirus.” The clip shows Trump saying that people do go to work, not instructing them to go to work.
Huffpost did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller.
MSNBC host Chris Hayes used Rogers’s viral tweet as well. He tweeted Roger’s comments and warned people not to go to work with coronavirus. Bob Cesca, director and political commentator, also doubled down on the claim using Roger’s tweet.
“Not a doctor or a virologist or anything but DEFINITELY DO NOT GO TO WORK IF YOU HAVE CORONAVIRUS PLEASE AND THANK YOU,” Hayes tweeted along wish Roger’s interpretation of Trump’s words.
Crooked Media editor-in-chief Brian Beutler suggested the president was telling people to “Go to work, infect your colleagues, it’s chill bro. Stock market!” He added that other countries such as Japan, Italy and China were closing things down to combat the virus and used the viral tweet, too.
Trump has placed travel restrictions on numerous countries as the virus continues to spread in an effort to decrease its spread in the United States.
Julio Rosas, senior writer at Townhall, was one journalist to point out the misleading information coming from other people in the media. He noted that the viral tweet, which “severely mischaracterized what Trump said,” was “spread by blue check media folks.”
Bloomberg TV co-host Joe Weisenthal also pointed out the misleading interpretation of Trump’s comments. He said that he didn’t think Trump’s “comment is being accurately characterized.” Weisenthal was the former executive editor at Business Insider.
“This has been RTd numerous times, and I don’t think his comment is being accurately characterized,” Weisenthal tweeted. “It appears he’s saying that because in many cases the virus is mild, a lot of people will do nothing, and go to work, and get better without having realized that they ever had it.”
Trump clarified his comments in a tweet Thursday. He said that he “NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work.”
I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work. This is just more Fake News and disinformation put out by the Democrats, in particular MSDNC. Comcast covers the CoronaVirus situation horribly, only looking to do harm to the incredible & successful effort being made!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2020