WaPo Reporter Yet To Retract Trump Coronavirus ‘Hoax’ Accusation That Her Own Employer Already Debunked

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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A Washington Post reporter has yet to retract an on-air statement where she claimed President Donald Trump called the novel coronavirus a “hoax” – despite her own publication debunking the comments.

WaPo’s White House reporter Ashley Parker went on MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour With Brian Williams” March 20. Parker was speaking about how the administration was reportedly unprepared for the coronavirus, and mentioned the debunked claim, which originated after Trump’s Feb. 28 rally in South Carolina.

“Had the president been heeding these warnings, he could have taken action far, far sooner than he did,” Parker said. “And he should have in those weeks when he was saying it was a hoax, and it was not many cases and it was gonna go away as if some miracle.”

WaPo gave this claim, which was manipulated in an advertisement from former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign, “Four Pinocchios.”


“The full quote shows Trump is criticizing Democratic talking points and the media’s coverage of his administration’s response to coronavirus. He never says that the virus itself is a hoax …” according to WaPo’s fact check.

Another WaPo reporter was forced to delete a tweet on March 21 after she also pushed the false story that Trump called the coronavirus a “hoax.” Reporter Amber Phillips apologized “for quoting the president out of context” and noted that her own outlet had fact-checked the story.

Even after Phillips’s apology and acknowledgment that her own publication had proven the Trump coronavirus “hoax” story wrong, Parker has remained silent on correcting her on-air comments almost a week after making them.

In reality, there was almost an entire minute between when Trump said “coronavirus” and “hoax” during the rally, Politifact reported. (RELATED: People Keep Repeating The Debunked Claim That Trump Called Coronavirus A ‘Hoax’)

“In fact, there was nearly a full minute between when the president said ‘coronavirus’ and ‘hoax’ during a Feb. 28 rally in North Charleston, S.C.,” according to Politifact.

WaPo and MSNBC did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller.