News Story

Media Watchdog Says Michigan Clinic Staged The Crowding at Virus Test Drive-Through

Conservative site says officials wanted it to look busy for the CBS cameras

A conservative media watchdog group claims that a Grand Rapids health facility staged a fake COVID-19 drive-through testing line for a CBS news show with the intention of making it look busier than it really is.

Project Veritas, founded by James O’Keefe, said an insider at the facility claimed its employees staged a fake drive-through testing line that aired May 1 on the show CBS This Morning.

Cherry Health did not respond to an email from Michigan Capitol Confidential seeking comment.

Project Veritas released a statement from CBS that claimed the broadcast network had nothing to do with the staged drive-through line, blaming it instead on Cherry Health. CBS referred to the comment it sent Project Veritas in an email sent to Michigan Capitol Confidential.

“CBS News did not stage anything at the Cherry Health facility. Any suggestion to the contrary is 100% false,” Project Veritas quoted CBS as stating. “These allegations are deeply disturbing. 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 prior to tonight. They also said that their actions did not prevent any real patients from being tested. We take the accuracy of our reporting very seriously and we are removing the Cherry Health portion from the piece.”

Project Veritas released a video of an individual it characterized as a Cherry Health insider, directing employees to enter the drive-through line just “to make it look busy.”

Project Veritas states that a CBS News film crew pulled medical professionals off the floor to drive their vehicles into the testing lane, thereby giving the crew a longer line of cars for its story.

“Our insider witnessed the whole thing and came to Project Veritas, because he knew we would protect him,” O’Keefe said in a press release. “The insider told us that medical personnel were taken away from treating patients and making the line longer for actual patients wait for the COVID-19 test.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.