State Department Spokeswoman Rips Into CBS News for 'Intentionally' Misleading Viewers on Virus' Origin

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Posted: May 11, 2020 12:40 PM

Department of State spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus called out CBS News for having "misled" its "60 Minutes" viewers after a segment claimed State Secretary Mike Pompeo tried to "resurrect a debunked theory" that the Wuhan coronavirus was man-made in China.

The segment did not include Pompeo's full answer to ABC News anchor Martha Raddaz last Sunday.

Raddatz asked Pompeo if he had seen evidence if COVID-19 was "man-made or genetically modified" and he initially replied, "Look, the best experts so far seem to think that it's man-made. I have no reason to disbelieve it at that point."

"Your office at the DNI, the consensus, the scientific consensus was not man-made or genetically modified," Raddatz followed up.

"That's right. I agree with that," Pompeo clarified. "I have seen their analysis. I have seen the summary that you saw that was released publicly, I have no reason to doubt that is accurate."

Ortagus said CBS News "failed to accurately portray the clear intent of Secretary Pompeo's remarks" about the the origin of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China.

"This reporting — intending to deceive —  seeks to obfuscate the Secretary’s core point: the Chinese Communist Party continues to refuse calls for transparency, thereby compounding its cover-up, and further risking American lives," Ortagus added.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany also chimed in on Twitter, saying the error with CBS News is "the second example in 24 hours of completely dishonest editing."

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