The liberal Washington Post knew Democrat Terry McAuliffe was inflating the number of COVID cases among children in Virginia. But the publication did not call him on it because they claimed to be busy with other work. Thus a McAuliffe lie was seen as the truth by many Virginia voters. The paper has since corrected the reporting. However, by that point the lie was spread far and wide by the McAuliffe campaign.
Even the liberal Washington Post's fact-checker was forced to call out Terry McAuliffe for dramatically exaggerating COVID cases among kids. https://t.co/sm0RDKmQBH
— NewsBusters (@newsbusters) October 28, 2021
FNC: “Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler appeared to offer plenty of leniency for Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe over a false coronavirus claim he repeatedly made, which apparently reached a boiling point.
Kessler repeatedly noted his newspaper had passed on fact-checking McAuliffe’s false numbers on coronavirus, but he finally gave McAuliffe ‘four Pinocchios’ on Tuesday for inflating the number of COVID cases in Virginia while attacking GOP rival Glenn Youngkin.
McAuliffe first claimed in the Sept. 28 gubernatorial debate there were ‘8,000’ cases of COVID in Virginia that Monday, which he repeated on Sept. 29 and during an interview on Oct. 7. But as Kessler pointed out, ‘there were fewer than 2,000 confirmed cases’ on Sept. 27.”
“In speaking about the threat of the coronavirus to the state, McAuliffe frequently touts numbers — often wrong numbers about the impact on children. When we first queried the McAuliffe campaign about his figures, we were told it was a slip of the tongue. Okay, we understand that, and so we passed on a fact check. But then his tongue kept slipping,” Kessler wrote.
“Nevertheless, the McAuliffe campaign came back with what appeared to be a plausible explanation. During the debate, he was speaking on a Tuesday and a spokesman said he was referring to the weekend numbers released the day before. The new caseload between Friday morning and Monday morning was 7,987 on Sept. 27 and 7,762 on Oct. 4,” Kessler wrote. “One could argue that citing a weekend number in this fashion — ‘We had 8,000 cases yesterday in Virginia” and “Just this week, 8,000 cases on Monday in Virginia’ — certainly would leave the misleading impression he was talking about a one-day number. But we got busy with other stuff and chose not to do a fact check.”
McAuliffe recently said “1,142 of our children have been in hospitals because they got covid.” Kessler finally acknowledged that only “952 hospitalizations and 10 deaths of children 0 to 17 years of age.”
“Why has McAuliffe repeatedly used a higher number than that? Good question. A spokesman for his campaign did not respond to emails and text messages over a period of four days,” Kessler wrote.
“We can understand the occasional misspeak, especially in the heat of a campaign. Moreover, as readers know, we generally do not award Pinocchios when a politician admits error. But this has happened too many times for McAuliffe’s language to be an accident.” Better late than never.