A CBS News crew pulled medical professionals off the floor at the Cherry Medical Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and asked them to line up their vehicles outside a COVID-19 drive-through testing site, a new report from Project Veritas claims.
James O’Keefe, the founder and CEO of Project Veritas, said an insider “witnessed the whole thing and came to Project Veritas because he knew we would protect him.”
“The insider told us that medical personnel were taken away from treating patients and making the line longer for actual patients waiting for the COVID-19 test,” he said.
Nick Ross, a corporate cleaning site supervisor at the Cherry Health Facility, told Project Veritas that the “news crew wanted more people in the line because they knew it was scheduled.”
“It’s just annoying because we could have done other stuff,” one registered nurse said in an undercover recording obtained by Project Veritas.
“We knew they were coming. We had no clue that we were going to have to, like, do fake patients,” she added.
CBS News said it “did not stage anything at the Cherry Health Facility,” but did reveal that one of the clinic’s “chief officers told at least one staffer to get in the testing line along with real patients.”
“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,” said the statement.
The footage was used to accompany a “CBS This Morning” interview with Tasha Blackmon, the president and CEO of Cherry Health.
Alison Mauro, another registered nurse recorded on hidden camera, said she and her colleagues working the drive-through testing site didn’t even administer real COVID-19 tests.
“We pretended. There were a couple of real patients, which made it worse,” she said.
Blackmon told Project Veritas that her company “and CBS News had nothing to do with that line,” but declined to comment further after viewing the Project Veritas report.
CBS News admitted in March that it aired footage of an overcrowded Italian hospital in a report about New York City.
Watch the full video below:
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Photo “Project Veritas Video” by Project Veritas.
Editors note: Neil McCabe, The Tennessee Star and Star News Network National Correspondent, also serves as a contract communications manager for Project Veritas.