Accuracy in Media

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp told reporters that he recently learned asymptomatic individuals could spread the coronavirus, which led to widespread criticism from the press. NBC News joined the choir of critics and speculated that his election opponent, Stacey Abrams, would have been a better governor than Kemp.

“This virus is now transmitting before people see signs,” Kemp said in a news conference this week. “We didn’t know that until the last 24 hours.” NBC News noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is based in Atlanta, warned the public that asymptomatic people could spread the coronavirus in mid-February.

The news outlet quoted multiple Twitter users and their speculation that Abrams would have been a more informed and better governor. One of the quoted users was Brittany Packnett Cunningham, who has worked in the progressive grassroots movement and is not an impartial source of political opinion.

Kemp should have known the contagious nature of the coronavirus long before this week’s press conference when he announced a stay-in-place order for Georgia residents. But it was unfair for NBC News to speculate whether his election opponent would have been a better governor because it is purely speculative and tough to prove. Also, the news outlet cited several Twitter users as the basis for its article, which is not a solid factual foundation for a news report.

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