Disinfo: US media are lying, claiming Hart Island mass graves to be “fake news”

Summary

We saw mass graves in New York on Hart Island, it is now the Island of the Dead.

When publications started to report on the presence of these mass graves, some media, highly influenced by US authorities, began to deny these reports and images and even classified them as fake news. They even went as far as emphasising that the burials were not for the people who passed away recently and are definitely not related to the coronavirus.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory related to the 2019-nCoV coronavirus and acts by the US media to hide its impact on New York City.

New York state is grappling with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the country with more than 712,000 confirmed cases across the state and 222,000 in New York City alone, even more than China's reported cases until 18th of April. Both the city's authorities and the media have not attempted to cover up the crisis.

As refrigerated trucks and tents began arriving at hospitals to deal with the bodies of the dead, at the end of February, New York’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) publicly started to survey cemeteries and crematories in upstate New York for temporary interment sites and Hart Island was one of those places. Reuters also published dozens of images taken by a drone of the ongoing work at Hart Island, the New York City Department of Correction (DOC) updated their website to reflect the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. The island is home to the city’s potter’s field, a cemetery for people with no next of kin or whose families cannot arrange funerals.

Aja Worthy-Davis, an OCME spokeswoman, said at the beginning of April that it would take time to collate individual causes of death from the office’s records, but that it was probable some of the recent burials include those felled by the Coronavirus.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 193
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory, Conspiracy

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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