CNSNews.com loves to push as many attack pieces on the Biden administration as it can crank out, and it doesn't bother to fact-check them first. For instance, it has made an effort to promote the right-wing narrative that immigrants coming across the southern border are responsible for the current surge in coronavirus cases.
In an Aug. 6 article, Craig Bannister uncritically quoted Republican Sen. Ted Cruz ranting: "If CNN really gave a damn about COVID, they’d come down to McAllen & see the THOUSANDS of illegal immigrants with COVID being released by the Biden admin without a care in the world into Texas cities & towns. There’s an invasion going on at the southern border but CNN is silent."
An Aug. 9 commentary by Andrew Arthur of the anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies hyped claims that COVID-positive immigrants were being released into communities: "Again, the Delta COVID variant is highly contagious, and a “hyperlocal outbreak” could overwhelm health resources (including hospital beds) in the small towns that dot the Rio Grande Valley. If the Biden administration is obstructing disclosures about COVID-positive migrants who have been released into those towns for political reasons, it needs to stop and put the facts out there./p>
An article the same day by Melanie Arter uncritically repeated:
Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe told Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures” that President Joe Biden’s handling of migrants at the southern border has resulted in a super spreader event in Texas.
“And you and I -- and you have documented that well on this program, Maria, but what neither one of us saw was that he would take a humanitarian crisis and now create a health -- public health crisis at our border as well. By his actions, he's created the largest COVID super-spreader event anywhere on the planet at the Southern border in Texas right now, and to criticize Texas over COVID is just -- is just nonsensical,” Ratcliffe said.
“I mean, let me put this in perspective for you, Maria. As you and I, as U.S. citizens, if we go to Mexico City, and we want to return to our home country, we can't do so. The Biden administration says we can't do so without a COVID-negative test,” he pointed out.
“At the very same time, the Biden administration is allowing thousands of COVID-infected illegal aliens not only into the country, but then transporting them around the country, and, again, in what has been the largest super-spreader COVID event anywhere in the world, and the Biden administration is directly responsible for that,” Ratcliffe said.
But there's little evidence that immigrants are responsible for the COVID surge in border states. As one actual news outlet reported:
While it is true that people entering the country without permission could be contributing to the overall number of Covid-19 cases — as has been the case recently in McAllen, Texas — experts believe the impact of these cases does not make a difference in the American health situation.
It is not migratory patterns that explain the recent outbreaks of Covid-19, but the low vaccination rates in certain states, Arthur Caplan, director of the division of medical ethics at New York University School of Medicine, told Noticias Telemundo.
"In some states, it isn't clear that there is very much migration right now at all, although there are big outbreaks," Caplan said. "As far as I know, the migration patterns in the past month are more north than south. That does not correlate at all."
Another news outlet noted:
Facts First: Public health experts dispute the notion that migrants entering the southern border are largely responsible for exploding Covid cases across a large swath of the country. Instead, experts point to the more transmissible Delta variant and relatively low vaccination rates as primary causes of this latest wave. It's also worth noting that some of the Republicans blaming the surge on migrants have banned mask mandates and pushed back against policies requiring vaccines.
Yet another news outlet reported:
The key factors behind the recent spike in COVID-19 cases are people in U.S. communities who are unvaccinated and are not following guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the highly contagious delta variant, according to public health experts.
At a news conference last week, Dr. Ivan Melendez, who serves as the local health authority in Hidalgo County, Texas, acknowledged that arriving migrants were “part of the problem” but he also said they did not pose any more of a danger than he does. “I have been in seven COVID units today.”
He said migrants are not responsible for introducing the virus nor do they have higher infection rates compared with the general population.
“Is it a pandemic of the migrants? No, it is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Melendez said.
Then again, CNS puts narratives first and facts somewhere below that.