CBS News has been heavily criticized for widely sharing a video that has since been revealed as fraudulent, in which a woman falsely claimed to be a nurse who was fired from her job because she wanted to wear a surgical mask while treating coronavirus patients, as reported by Fox News.
CBS shared the video on Twitter of alleged nurse Imaris Vera, who cried in an over-dramatic fashion as she claimed that she quit because the hospital where she was working, Northwestern Medicine, allegedly would not provide their staff with N95 masks. When she tried to wear her own, she claimed that she was told she was not allowed to do so, at which point she quit.
CBS added dramatic music and captions to the video, sharing it and making it go viral with over 8 million views. However, upon closer examination by investigative journalists, numerous inconsistencies were found in Vera’s story. The Federalist’s Chrissy Clark found that Vera had admitted, on her own personal Facebook page, that she “has anxiety and bi-polar depression,” and as such had not worked at the hospital in over a year. She instead spent the year off working as an Instagram model, admitting that “she was unsure if she was ready to return” to the hospital.
As a result of the scrutiny, Vera was forced to walk back part of her emotional rant, conceding that the hospital did, in fact, provide N95 masks to each of their nurses, with one mask for each individual coronavirus patient.
Jordan Schachtel of the Institute of World Politics further dissected the inconsistencies in a thread of tweets, saying that “she had been on the job for a day or two, after taking a year off to pursue something resembling an Instagram model career.” CBS’s coverage, Schachtel said, amounted to “deliberate misrepresentation of her career,” which meant that “you cannot take her statements at face value.” Schachtel noted that, while “she is indeed a nurse,” she “hasn’t been on the job much. Everything else is lies, exaggeration, and unproven statements.”
CBS further corrected their original version of the story, saying that they had reached out to the hospital itself for comment, but received no answer as to why Vera quit; the hospital referred them to Vera herself, only for Vera to make all of her social media accounts private. She has not spoken to the press since the video went viral.