Media outlets and journalists on social media heavily pushed a story about a woman and her husband drinking fish tank cleaner because it contained chloroquine phosphate after President Trump had mentioned the medicinal version of chloroquine could be used to help treat COVID-19.
After drinking the cleaner, the couple began to feel sick and were rushed to the hospital, where her husband later died and she was put in intensive care. She told NBC News they drank it out of fear of contracting the coronavirus and had heard Trump talking about chloroquine to treat patients.
However, some of the reports and social media left out the fact the couple did not ingest the medicinal form of chloroquine that Trump had said could be used to help cure those infected with the Wuhan coronavirus.
Axios' story about the incident completely left out the part about them ingesting fish tank cleaner. Their tweet for the original story has been deleted and an editor's note was added to the story hours after it was first published.
Axios' original story leaving out key context.
Journalists on Twitter often left out the part explaining the couple did not use the tablet form of chloroquine, racking up thousands of retweets and likes off of the false premise.
NBC News Correspondent Heidi Przybyla's tweet about the story went viral, but she did not add the key detail until two hours later and at the very bottom of her thread, which has received far less attention.
??Her husband is dead & she's in the ICU after ingesting chloroquine:— Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiNBC) March 23, 2020
"We saw Trump on TV -- every channel -- & all of his buddies and that this was safe," she said.
"Trump kept saying it was basically pretty much a cure."
She implored @VaughnHillyard: "Educate the people" https://t.co/Vl94tIZcdw
Przybyla's first tweet was retweeted by Washington Post National Political Reporter Matt Viser, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace, and MSNBC contributor Zerlina Maxwell.
Others who helped pushed the false narrative that Trump was responsible for the couple's misfortune included Daily Beast editor-at-large Molly Jong-Fast, Washington Post reporter Ashley Parker, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, Kyle Griffin, an MSNBC senior producer for Lawerence O'Donell's show, and CBS News White House Correspondent Weijia Jiang.
Maybe just maybe a bankrupt reality tv host shouldn’t be giving medical advice? https://t.co/yhP4XXYV2L— Molly Jong-Fast?? (@MollyJongFast) March 24, 2020
Read this thread — and only follow the advice of medical professionals, not what the president suggests based on “just a feeling.” https://t.co/5bBlDwCupj— Ashley Parker (@AshleyRParker) March 24, 2020
"A man has died and his wife is under critical care after the couple, both in their 60s, ingested chloroquine phosphate," one of the anti-malaria drugs that President Trump has mentioned in recent days. https://t.co/8Kuwj3tlA1— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 23, 2020
This is not the first time journalists and the media have pushed a story in order to dunk or own Trump, but it is disgusting to see them use a couple's terrible situation, of their own making, in order to try to do so. What's worse is they left out key details.
This list does not include the many prominent liberal activists on Twitter who also helped spread the narrative while leaving out the important context to the story.