CNN was just caught in the act of publishing fake news.
The media network often cited as one of President Donald Trump’s harshest detractors claimed in an article published Tuesday that First Lady Melania Trump broke protocols put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 at Children’s National Hospital in Washington “when she removed her mask to read a holiday book to children.”
But according to Breitbart, that assertion from CNN is flat-out false.
An annual event
The first lady’s trip to Children’s National Hospital came Tuesday. According to a statement from the White House, Mrs. Trump read Todd Zimmerman’s Oliver the Ornament Meets Marley and Joan and Abbey “to a small group of socially-distanced patients and their families in the hospital’s atrium.”
The White House said the reading was also “broadcast to the hospital’s 325 inpatient rooms so that children and their families could watch the reading from the safety of their rooms.”
It was the first lady’s fourth time visiting the hospital for the holidays, a tradition that the White House said “dates back more than 70 years.”
“Another false attack”
After the event, as Breitbart reports, CNN’s Betsy Klein claimed that the first lady had broken hospital rules by taking her mask off for the reading. “Though she practiced social distancing, the hospital’s policy specifically requires all visitors to wear a mask,” Klein wrote Tuesday in an article titled: “Melania Trump breaks children’s hospital rules by taking her mask off to read to patients.”
But Klein’s claims simply aren’t true. According to Breitbart, Children’s National Hospital subsequently released a statement explaining that the first lady followed all of their rules. The statement was first shared in a tweet by the first lady’s spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham.
“The First Lady did follow our mask protocols for public speakers, which is based on DC Health guidance, which states that wearing a mask is not required when a person is giving a speech for broadcast or an audience, provided no one is within six feet of the speaker,” the hospital’s statement read. It went on:
In the case of today’s visit, which was broadcast to our patient rooms, when the First Lady did remove her mask while she read a story, she was more than 12-feet away from others in our four-story atrium. This space was closed off from hospital visitors and the small group of people in that space were all wearing masks. For the remainder of the First Lady’s visit, she wore a mask and did not visit any patient care areas.
Grisham herself called the CNN story “yet another false attack” on the first lady from the network.
“Despite our request, they refuse to update their headline,” Grisham added.
Two days later, as of Thursday, the headline remains.