Trump Uses Doctor’s Selfie To Claim COVID Is Hoax

The Washington Post reports:

When five patients died of the coronavirus in a 32-hour span at Renown Regional Medical Center, Jacob Keeperman turned to Twitter on Sunday to thank his colleagues in Reno, Nev., for all their support, tweeting out a recent selfie of him on the day the alternate care site had opened. “Everyone is struggling to keep their head up,” the ICU physician tweeted. “Stay strong.”

But his message took on a different meaning Tuesday when President Trump retweeted a conservative lifestyle blog that falsely claimed Keeperman’s selfie in front of empty hospital beds proved the coronavirus pandemic was a hoax. Trump’s retweet infuriated Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D), who said the president had discredited Keeperman and the state’s health-care workers by spreading misinformation.

The Associated Press reports:

CLAIM: A photo showing a doctor standing in front of empty hospital beds at a Reno, Nevada, auxiliary care site for COVID-19 patients proves that the coronavirus pandemic is a hoax.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The photo was taken the day the alternative care site was opened, and patients had yet to arrive. Renown Regional Medical Center said the site, which is housed in a parking garage, has treated 198 coronavirus patients since it first opened.

THE FACTS: In recent weeks, social media posts have shared a variety of falsehoods about the hospital’s parking garage site, with some posts saying that visitors went there and found no patients, which they then cited as evidence that the virus is a hoax.

Twitter has deleted the original post.