A CBS This Morning report promoted on the outlet’s Twitter account early Tuesday cited a public health expert who said that newly arrived migrants aren’t responsible for the massive rise in COVID-19 cases seen in a number of states across the U.S., attributing the numbers “to the delta variant, low vaccination rates, and rolled-back restrictions.”
That seems like that, right … right? Except CBS This Morning contradicted its own report anyway, claiming a “COVID crisis on the border,” and featuring a clip of a recent purveyor of this “immigrants bring disease” trope. “They literally used a video of Ron DeSantis spreading xenophobic lies about immigrants with ZERO context about [...] his own deliberate downplaying and mismanagement of COVID-19,” United We Dream’s José Alonso Muñoz tweeted. “Unreal.”
“Despite recent claims, migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border are not driving the national surge in COVID-19 cases,” the Associated Press (AP) reported this week, also citing unvaccinated Americans and people who “are not following guidance from CDC about the highly contagious delta variant, according to public health experts." Dr. Ivan Melendez, a Hidalgo County health authority cited in the report, called it “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
In other words, look in the mirror, America. But hey, some of the worst of the worst ran with the CBS This Morning report anyway. I noted on Twitter that the clip was shared by Mark Krikorian, leader of Tanton network hate group Center for Immigration Studies. Krikorian has cried about his organization’s hate group designation by the Southern Poverty Law Center, but those kinds of designations happen when you distribute racist writings thousands of times (in just one example).
Oliver Willis, senior writer for The American Independent, noted the GOP’s official account also eagerly spread the report, apparently posting it to its YouTube page. That leads into a series of tweets by Daily Show senior digital producer Matt Negrin, who noted a CBS News political director’s lengthy record as a Republican aide, including stints with Marco Rubio, Rob Portman, Joni Ernst, Richard Burr, Tim Pawlenty, and John McCain.
“This industry is packed with media reporters and yet none of them appears interested in poking around at this obvious effort at the leadership level of @CBSNews to deliberately spread misinformation that grossly parrots Hannity, Ingraham, Tucker, and Brian Kilmeade,” Negrin continued. “Whew,” tweeted Soledad O’Brien. “The ‘growing concern’ is among white supremacists. Elevating racist talking points is a terrible strategy.”
The CBS This Morning report also featured (and then glossed over) another major lie spewed by DeSantis that basically claimed a wide-open southern border. The Biden administration last week announced that it would be keeping in place the Stephen Miller policy that’s been used to deport hundreds of thousands of asylum-seekers. While unaccompanied children and some families are being allowed to enter the U.S., many are still being quickly expelled under a policy that’s been more effective than any stupid border wall.
Yet, Republicans continue to make these false claims anyway—and too many mainstream media outlets continue to let them repeat these lies unchallenged. “From Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis to Tucker Carlson and Newt Gingrich, right wingers are desperately trying to avoid accountability for increased infections, hospitalizations and deaths by scapegoating immigrants and refugees encountered at the border,” America’s Voice said.