ABC News Criticized for Editing Interview With CDC Director

ABC News is under severe criticism for its editing of a “Good Morning America” interview with Centers for Disease Control director Rochelle Walensky. In the interview, Walensky discussed a study that showed how most vaccinated people who died of coronavirus were also sick for other reasons.

With the cut in portions of the interview, vaccine critics can take advantage of the interview.

– It created an uncertainty that’s being exploited by vaccine critics.

– It wasn’t clear whether Walensky was talking about vaccinated people. References quickly spread online implying that she was talking about COVID-19 victims.

– Figures like Donald Trump Jr., Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham took advantage of the edited interview and implied the Biden administration has been lying to the public about the importance of vaccines.

Exactly what was edited out of the interview?

Interviewer Cecilia Vega asked Walensky about the “encouraging headlines” surrounding a study that showed how well vaccines worked to prevent severe illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director began by summarizing some of the findings.

But ABC edited out the summary, about 20 seconds of her answer. That made it appear that Walensky began by saying: “The overwhelming numbers of deaths, over 75%, occurred in people who had at least four comorbidities, so really these were people who were unwell to begin with.”

Besides making what she was saying unclear, the edit made it easy for people to distribute the exchange to make it appear that Walensky was talking about all COVID-19 patients who had died, not just the vaccinated.

ABC’s editing was a mistake, said Carol Marin, a veteran broadcast journalist and director of the Center for Journalism Integrity and Excellence at DePaul University. Marin says the network should make a quick fix explaining to viewers why it was being done.

It’s possible ABC News believes there was nothing wrong with its edit. When asked, the network would not comment on Thursday.