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Last updated on July 24th, 2017 at 12:48 pm
ABC’s Lateline ran a segment on September 5 largely blaming the federal US government for needless deaths in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Included in the report were claims from Jefferson Parish president Aaron Broussard that a nursing home resident had died while waiting for federal aid:
AARON BROUSSARD: “Somebody is coming to get you on Tuesday, somebody is coming to get you on Wednesday, somebody is coming to get you on Thursday, somebody is coming to get you on Friday.” And she drowned, on Friday night, she drowned on Friday night. Nobody is comin to get us, nobody is coming to get us. The secretary has promised, everybody has promised. They’ve had press conferences, I’m sick of the press conferences. For Godsakes, shut up and send us somebody.
Those claims were first aired by NBC on September 4. ABC reporter Norman Hermant ended the Lateline piece with this: “The full force of the US government is now swinging into action, one week after Katrina devastated the US Gulf Coast. For many though, it has come far too late.” But it’s since emerged that the woman cited by Broussard died on the Monday following Katrina, not the Friday, and that she died (with many others) not because of federal inaction, but because the nursing home rejected pleas that residents be evacuated prior to the hurricane.
Operators of the nursing home have been indicted over the deaths. NBC has now published a retraction; will Lateline do likewise? Better send them a reminder in case they forget. Otherwise it’s over to you, Media Watch.
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