Fake News: Coronavirus Claims in Montana are False

BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 25: A Chinese health worker checks the temperature of a woman entering a subway station during the Chinese New Year and Spring Festival on January 25, 2020 in Beijing, China. The number of cases of a deadly new coronavirus rose to over 1300 in mainland China Saturday as health officials locked down the city of Wuhan earlier in the week in an effort to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease which medicals experts have been confirmed can be passed from human to human. In an unprecedented move, Chinese authorities put travel restrictions on the city of Wuhan and neighbouring cities affecting a population of over 35 million. The number of those who have died from the virus in China climbed to at least 41 on Saturday and cases have been reported in other countries including the United States, Australia, France, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Montanas don’t need to break out their pandemic disease face masks just yet. A recent report that up to eight patients have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Montana turns out to be fake news.

KRTV in Great Falls has myth-busted the report that Montana has residents with the illness, claiming that after a careful fact-check, the reports came from a fake news website and that it’s unsubstantiated and probably untrue.

The report read, “Seven Americans and one Chinese have tested positive for coronavirus in Billings, Montana, authorities have said in a statement. According to the statement, seven people became ill after coming into contact with a Chinese colleague who was visiting from Shanghai and had recently been in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak. Authorities say the Chinese is still not showing symptoms of the virus despite testing positive and that is why border control did not notice.”

However, KRTV has looked into the report and found, “The article does not identify which ‘authorities’ released the statement, and provides no sources in its assertion. Our MTN News station in Billings has not received any information from any authorities about any occurrences of coronavirus – not from municipal or county leaders, not from any health agency or organization, and not from any reputable source.”

They continue, “A quick online search reveals that “cbtvn.com” often publishes fake, inaccurate, and/or misleading information, and provides no evidence or sources for its allegations. It also does not provide information about itself, its ‘reporters,’ or any other identifying information. Websites such as ‘cbtvn’ exist solely to generate ad revenue by scaring people into clicking on their articles – usually by posting incendiary or scary headlines which are either not supported by the article, or simply are made up completely.”

Currently, there are no substantiated reports of coronavirus in Montana.


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