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Tipsheet

Media Pushes Story Blaming Trump for Woman's Hospitalization and Husband's Death— But Leave Out One Key Detail

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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