Hospital workers at Cherry Medical Center in Grand Rapids, Mich., were caught on camera talking about their experience with a CBS News crew that made them fake a busy testing center in order to appear swamped with patients. Project Veritas received a tip from a whistleblower at the hospital who filmed what happened. Workers reported that they were called off the floors where they were working and told to get in their cars and make the line look like it was wrapping around the parking lot. Nurses in the testing center were forced to pretend they were testing patients, but they weren’t.
In an interview with the whistleblower, O’Keefe asked, “You’re telling me you’re a hundred percent certain that CBS News, CBS News Corporation–national, staged a fake event. They faked the news. They faked the reality and broadcasted that to all of their audience last Friday on “CBS This Morning”? The insider, whose identity was protected, replied, “A hundred percent, absolutely.”
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Cherry Health President and CEO Tasha Blackmon told Project Veritas in a phone conversation, “We and CBS News had nothing to do with that line.” But after CBS was contacted, that story changed. CBS released a statement contradicting Blackmon’s story.
CBS News did not stage anything at the Cherry Health facility. Any suggestion to the contrary is 100% false. These allegations are alarming. We reached out to Cherry Health to address them immediately. They informed us for the first time that one of their chief officers told at least one staffer to get in the testing line along with real patients. No one from CBS News had any knowledge of this before tonight. They also said that their actions did not prevent any actual patients from being tested. We take the accuracy of our reporting very seriously and we are removing the Cherry Health portion from the piece.
Blackmon did not confirm this story by CBS and has refused to answer calls related to the matter. But the whistleblower described the line of cars being held in place for a long period of time to “set up the shot,” and several hospital workers expressed their frustration at having to pretend to test fake patients. Adriana Diaz was the reporter on the scene and the clip was aired on “CBS This Morning” with Gayle King. You can watch the expose below.
Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo,” and host of The Fringe podcast. Follow on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter