Fact-checker gives Biden video four Pinocchios for claim top CDC official was 'silenced'

Fact-checker gives Biden video four Pinocchios for claim top CDC official was 'silenced'
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The Washington Post's fact-checker column awarded four Pinocchios to a video tweeted out by 2020 Democratic front-runner Joe BidenJoe BidenDefense lawyers for alleged Capitol rioters to get tours of U.S. Capitol Sasse to introduce legislation giving new hires signing bonuses after negative jobs report Three questions about Biden's conservation goals MORE that claimed that a top Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official had been "silenced" amid the coronavirus crisis. 

Tuesday's fact-check, which concluded the claim was "simply wrong" and created a "false narrative," came after the former vice president tweeted an informational coronavirus video that included Ron Klain, a former Biden aide who served as President Obama’s Ebola czar in 2014.

In the video, Klain alleges there was "immediate blowback" after Dr. Nancy Messonnier, "a career official at the Centers for Disease Control who was the first to raise the alarm" on the coronavirus threat, was sidelined by the Trump administration.


“Starting the next day, Dr. Messonnier no longer appeared at public briefings of the White House coronavirus task force. The president and the White House sent a clear message to scientists in the government — there would be a price for speaking out and speaking up," Klain claims.

The fact-check notes, however, that Messonnier's superior, Anne Schuchat, participated in a press conference with President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Memo: The Obamas unbound, on race Iran says onus is on US to rejoin nuclear deal on third anniversary of withdrawal Assaults on Roe v Wade increasing MORE the next day.


"If you look closely, you will see there is a woman standing next to Trump. Who’s that? Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s principal deputy director — and Messonnier’s superior," the fact-check reads.

"Meanwhile, far from being silenced, Messonnier kept doing her telephone briefings with reporters — on Feb. 28, Feb. 29, March 3 and March 9. She also appeared in four videos shared on social media including on March 14," it adds.

"The video created a false narrative. The Biden campaign earns Four Pinocchios," the fact-check concludes.

The 2020 presidential campaign has essentially been put on hold due to the pandemic, with primaries being postponed, rallies canceled and no debates currently scheduled between Biden and his remaining challenger for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGOP is consumed by Trump conspiracy theories Manchin on collision course with Warren, Sanders Sanders on Cheney drama: GOP is an 'anti-democratic cult' MORE (I-Vt.).