Brit Hume Cites Twitter User to Claim Coronavirus Deaths Are Being ‘Inflated’ in New York
Fox News analyst Brit Hume raised eyebrows Thursday by circulating a Twitter thread — from a user who self-describes as an “extreme salesman” — claiming New York has “inflated” its death toll from the coronavirus.
“Very informative thread,” Hume replied. “Explains why NY’s Covid 19 fatality numbers are inflated. They dont’t distinguish between those who die with the disease and those who die from it.”
Very informative thread. Explains why NY’s Covid 19 fatality numbers are inflated. They dont’t distinguish between those who die with the disease and those who die from it. https://t.co/Hbdud2ppSI
— Brit Hume (@brithume) April 1, 2020
Adam Townsend, who bills himself on Twitter as an “Investor” and “Extreme salesman,” started his thread by calling attention to the number of people who died from the virus but also had underling conditions.
He concluded that the official death rate in New York City is “cooked.”
The Center for Disease Control and health experts have explained in the past that people are “at higher risk for severe illness from Covid-19” if they are older or if they have serious pre-existing medical conditions. Taking those conditions into account, even if people don’t die from the coronavirus itself, they still face a potentially life-threatening situation if the disease causes complications that make a patient more difficult to treat.
Hume’s promotion of the thread comes weeks after he faced criticism for circulating a dubious article from Medium — which was later deleted — that downplayed the seriousness of Covid-19 and called out “hysteria” surrounding it. That article was also not written by a health expert.
Republican pollster Frank Luntz was among those who criticized Hume for spreading claims from someone with no medical expertise. Luntz also pointed out that Townsend apparently claimed (in a now deleted tweet) that the coronavirus was “manufactured in China.”
Brit, you’re again citing someone with no background in medicine or epidemiology.
Also, further down the thread, your source says about the coronavirus: “I have zero doubt this was manufactured in China.” https://t.co/prN13gm8wO
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) April 2, 2020
Frank, for Pete’s sake read the thread. It is laced with information and quotes from people who are amply qualified.
— Brit Hume (@brithume) April 2, 2020
To back up his position, Hume also shared quotes from experts who have questioned how doctors record fatalities from the coronavirus.
— Will Ricciardella (@WillRicci) April 2, 2020
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]