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Friday, March 4, 2022
Fake News: WND Pushes Bogus Claim About COVID Cases In Israel
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Wayne Allyn Root wasn't the only WorldNetDaily writer to fall for a bogus viral anti-vaxx claim out of Israel. Art Moore wrote in a Feb. 3 article:

Most of the severe COVID-19 cases at one of Israel's largest hospital complexes are people who received at least three shots, according to the director of the coronavirus ward.

The Middle East nation has one of the world's highest rates of vaccination, about 90%, with many high-risk patients having received a fourth shot.

Prof. Yaakov Jerris told Israel's Channel 13 News that "most of our severe cases are vaccinated," Israel National News reported.

"They had at least three injections. Between 70 and 80 percent of the serious cases are vaccinated," said Jerris, who works for Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, also known as Ichilov Hospital, the nation's second largest.

"So, the vaccine has no significance regarding severe illness, which is why just 20 to 25 percent of our patients are unvaccinated."

As a fact-checker found, there is no Yaakov Jerris -- his name is Jacob Giris, and even the Israel National News article Moore cites calls him Jacob Giris.Moore also botched the name of the hospital -- the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center hasn't been known as Ichilov Hospital for decades, according to the fact-checker.

Moore also misled about what Giris said, presumably for clickability's sake. He hped the claim that most serious COVID cases in the hospital are of vaccinated, but waited a few paragraphs to attempt to tell the full truth: that it involved people who are seriously ill. Indeed, as the fact-checker also found, Giris said that the patient population is older and has more comorbidities, so it's less relevant that they are vaccinated. Giris also an earlier statement (in Hebrew) noting that the mortality rate is low, they were admitted for other heatlh issues and later discovered to have COVID, and that COVID is not the cause of death for these patients.

Moore waited a couple more paragraphs before cleaning that up:

At an Israeli government cabinet meeting on Sunday, Jerris tried to clear up confusion regarding how COVID cases are reported.

"Defining a serious patient is problematic," he told the ministers. "For example, a patient with a chronic lung disease always had a low level of oxygen, but now he has a positive coronavirus test result which technically makes him a 'serious coronavirus patient.'"

That isn't accurate, he said.

"The patient is only in a difficult condition because he has a serious underlying illness."

All of which negates the entire premise of Moore's article. In most legitimate newsrooms, that would have kiled the story -- but because WND's journalistic standards are so abysmal, the false claim remained the lead claim.

No wonder Google no longer wants to do business with WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:43 PM EST
Updated: Friday, March 4, 2022 6:48 PM EST

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