Rachel Maddow of MSNBC falsely “fact-checked” a statement about convalescent plasma during the Republican National Convention, alleging the treatment is not scientifically backed.
“There isn’t any strong scientific evidence that suggests that convalescent plasma and antibodies actually is a sound therapeutic that’s going to be a value for treating people with coronavirus,” she said.
MSNBC breaks in to #RNC2020 to fact check Trump, noting the convalescent plasma approval he touted "is against the recommendation of FDA scientists and the NIH and Dr. Fauci." pic.twitter.com/mNbcMD2WIQ
— The American Independent (@AmerIndependent) August 25, 2020
Despite Maddow’s claims that this plasma treatment “is against the recommendation of FDA scientists and the NIH and Dr. Fauci,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Anthony Fauci recently endorsed it.
Even though Maddow said any plasma treatment that passed approval came only because of pressure from President Trump, the FDA says the recent emergency use authorization on Sunday was determined by science.
“Today’s action follows the FDA’s extensive review of the science and data generated over the past several months stemming from efforts to facilitate emergency access to convalescent plasma for patients as clinical trials to definitively demonstrate safety and efficacy remain ongoing,” the statement read.
A statement from Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar confirms scientific backing for the treatment.
“The FDA’s emergency authorization for convalescent plasma is a milestone achievement in President Trump’s efforts to save lives from COVID-19,” said Secretary Azar. “The Trump Administration recognized the potential of convalescent plasma early on. Months ago, the FDA, BARDA, and private partners began work on making this product available across the country while continuing to evaluate data through clinical trials. Our work on convalescent plasma has delivered broader access to the product than is available in any other country and reached more than 70,000 American patients so far. We are deeply grateful to Americans who have already donated and encourage individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 to consider donating convalescent plasma.”
In addition to the treatment’s endorsement by the FDA, Fauci also encouraged people who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their antibodies to assist in more recoveries.
“You can literally save lives,” he urges.
Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institute of Health, also promoted the treatment, claiming that it held “promising results.”
Promising results from convalescent plasma studies in hospitalized #COVID-19 patients are now being further assessed and tested in randomized control trials. But continued plasma donations are very much needed from COVID-19 survivors. See https://t.co/CAhwWkGSZA to sign up!
— Lawrence A. Tabak (@NIHDirector) August 20, 2020
The CDC also urges people to donate, saying that more than “40,000 patients have received plasma treatment for COVID-19.”
Maddow and MSNBC weren’t the only ones to produce wrong “fact checks.” A Washington Post article also attempted to “fact check” former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley for saying that the Obama administration let “Iran get away with murder” and sent them a “plane full of cash.”
Last night @NikkiHaley said about Iran "Obama & Biden… literally sent them a plane full of cash." Washington Post fact checked that as one of "19 claims" "drawn from Pres Trump’s arsenal of falsehoods." Their fact check says Obama & Biden literally sent Iran planes full of cash pic.twitter.com/nAueJUd5Cr
— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) August 25, 2020
In the article, however, The Post describes the money exchange with Iran in detail, and it confirms Haley’s statement.
While the RNC fell under scrutiny from multiple media outlets dedicated to “fact-checking” statements made by Trump supporters, the Democratic National Convention did not receive the same treatment from these same media entities.