The New York Times published an article Saturday that blamed the death of a man from coronavirus on Fox News and host Sean Hannity, but the timeline has quickly fallen apart.
The article, written by columnist Ginia Bellafante, paints the picture of a New Yorker named Joe Joyce, who “was skeptical about the virus,” took a cruise, and then died from COVID-19. Bellafante places the blame on Fox News and Hannity for Joyce’s death, as the New Yorker reportedly watched the network.
“’He watched Fox, and believed it was under control,’ Kristen [Joyce’s child] told me,” Bellafante wrote.
“Early in March Sean Hannity went on air proclaiming that he didn’t like the way that the American people were getting scared ‘unnecessarily.’ He saw it all, he said, ‘as like, let’s bludgeon Trump with this new hoax,'” the article continues.
However, many have pointed out that the timeline blaming Fox News and Hannity for Joyce’s death does not add up.
Joyce, a bar owner, set out for his cruise to Spain along with his wife on March 1, according to the NYT. The quote included from Hannity was said on March 9 – over a week after Joyce left for his cruise.
“Eventually, Fox changed course and took the virus more seriously, but the Joyces were long gone by then,” an updated version of the article reads. “A spokeswoman for Fox News said that Mr. Hannity made statements taking the spread of coronavirus seriously early on, and that his comment about the public being scared by the coverage happened after the Joyces had left on their cruise.”
Bellafante did not note that Spain reported its first death from the novel coronavirus on March 3, two days after the couple left for their cruise, according to a timeline from Reuters. She also did not note that Fox News hosts like Tucker Carlson were sounding the alarm on the novel coronavirus as early as February.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said March 9 – after the couple left for the cruise and on the same day that Hannity made his comments – that “if you are a healthy young person, there is no reason if you want to go on a cruise ship, go on a cruise ship,” according to Forbes.
“Vice President Mike Pence then followed up Fauci by saying advice to avoid vacations at sea was targeted to older people with ‘serious underlying conditions,'” Forbes reported. (RELATED: NYT Executive Editor Appears To Admit Edit On Biden Sexual Assault Allegation Came After Pressure From Biden Campaign)
Fauci’s comment was not included in the NYT article. Joyce was described as “74 [years old], a nonsmoker, healthy.” The article added that “four years after he [Joyce] opened his bar he stopped drinking completely.”
Bellafante herself also appeared to downplay the threat of the novel coronavirus at the end of February, months before turning around and accusing Fox News and Hannity of doing the same.
“I fundamentally don’t understand the panic: incidence of the disease is declining in China. Virus is not deadly in vast majority of cases,” Bellafante tweeted on Feb. 27.
I fundamentally don’t understand the panic: incidence of the disease is declining in China. Virus is not deadly in vast majority of cases. Production and so on will slow down and will obviously rebound. cc: @opinion_joe
— Ginia Bellafante (@GiniaNYT) February 27, 2020
Also ignored is the NYT’s past reports appearing to downplay the virus. The paper published an op-ed on Feb. 5 arguing against the travel ban imposed on China. President Donald Trump announced travel restrictions on China Jan. 31 as the novel coronavirus spread across the world.
A Feb. 18 article published by the NYT is headlined “In Europe, Fear Spreads Faster Than the Coronavirus Itself.” Italy shut down on March 9, just a few weeks later after 9,172 reported cases, according to a timeline from Axios.
The NYT article adds that “it is possible, of course, that Joe Joyce did not contract the coronavirus on a trip to Spain” after placing blame over the man’s death. The article then includes speculation from his daughter that “if Trump had gone on TV with a mask on and said, ‘Hey this is serious,'” Joyce may not have gone on the trip.
The NYT did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the Daily Caller.