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They got caught. They apologized. Yet, CBS News is still using misleading Italian hospital footage to describe COVID-19 conditions in the US.
Photo by Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

They got caught. They apologized. Yet, CBS News is still using misleading Italian hospital footage to describe COVID-19 conditions in the US.

Egregious fake news

Last week, CBS News admitted to an "editing mistake" after it got caught using footage of an overwhelmed Italian hospital while describing the coronavirus conditions in New York City.

In a statement to Fox News, a CBS spokesperson acknowledged the mistake and assured that it "took immediate steps to remove it from all platforms and shows."

Yet, despite the admission and supposed subsequent actions, CBS News has continued to use the misleading footage. In a news segment April 4, the outlet used the footage again, this time while discussing the coronavirus outbreak in Pennsylvania.

Here's the full CBS News segment from April 4. The footage is displayed at the 3:00 mark:

"In Pennsylvania, cases are skyrocketing at the rate of 1,000 a day," a reporter can be heard saying as the Italian hospital footage flashes across the screen. "Gov. Tom Wolf is appealing to citizens to help," the reporter continues.

It's not the first time

The footage in question was shot and aired March 19 by Sky News in a video report about an overrun hospital in Bergamo, Italy, during the height of the country's fight against COVID-19.

The video shows medical staff at the hospital scrambling around in a tightly packed, recently converted intensive care room while attending to direly ill patients with limited resources. Several patients can be seen gasping for air. With the video, Sky News intended to broadcast to the world how grim the situation was in northern Italy.

On March 25, CBS aired the clip during a segment about the growing crisis in New York City.

Critics have slammed CBS for using the misleading clip, arguing that especially in times of crisis, the media has a duty to give accurate information so as not to misinform.

At best, CBS made another egregious "editing mistake." At worst, the news outlet is purposefully trying to conjure up fear by using the distressing footage.

At the time Sky News aired the original video, the health care system was near collapse. Doctors were reportedly having to choose between patients due to limited resources and, in many cases, were forced to leave elderly patients to die. At the Bergamo hospital where the clip was shot, health care workers had to convert many of the hospital rooms into make-shift intensive care units to treat the growing number of critically ill patients.

Italy has seen more than 139,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and has had over 17,600 deaths in the country.

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