Tutu & body bags: US journalist dragged for 'spreading fake news' about SA's Covid-19 pandemic

03 April 2020 - 09:00 By Unathi Nkanjeni
US journalist Adam Housley was dragged for 'spreading fake news' about coronavirus in SA.
US journalist Adam Housley was dragged for 'spreading fake news' about coronavirus in SA.
Image: Adam Housely via Twitter

Adam Housley poked the beast out of South Africans on Thursday when he claimed that a million body bags were being delivered to SA due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The former Fox News correspondent was accused of “spreading fake news” after he tweeted: “Tonight I have learned that 1 million body bags have been delivered to SA. It’s estimated that nearly 8.5 million people have Aids or TB in the country and they are very worried about what’s coming with coronavirus.”

As of Thursday, SA has 1,462 confirmed cases with five recorded deaths, compared to the US, which has more than 245,000 cases and where more than 6,000 deaths have been reported.

Housley claimed to have received the information from “friends who are in positions of power in SA and they are worried”.

He later deleted the tweets and said it had been “completely misunderstood”. He added that he loved the country and had even met Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

“I have deleted my South African tweet. It is being completely misunderstood. If you’ve followed me for years, you know SA was one of my most favourite places I’ve ever been [to]. I met [Archbishop Desmond] Tutu and some amazing people. I have been counting the days to take my kids back.

“In no way was I attacking SA or their attempts to fight Covid-19. I was hoping to get them more help that other countries haven’t got. It was presented as a fact from a government source. There was no lie and no intention to disrespect. I apologise if it was taken that way,” he said.

Housley repeated that he had been trying to help.

“We love SA are you kidding me?! You guys are completely misunderstood. I want the WHO and countries to help stop the virus there. This was no attack, ask your government ... they are the ones saying they are worried. We loved it there and have many friends.”

Check the deleted tweets below.

South Africans slammed Housley for both his claims and bringing the archbishop into it.

Here is a snapshot of what tweeps said.