No Correction from AP on Unfounded News of Human Death from Bird Flu

June 9th, 2024 1:17 PM

The Associated Press is capable of very quickly issuing "fact checks" when it suits them especially when they are supportive of Joe Biden in some way. However, when a major story AP published about  a bird flu death turned out to be, well, fake news, nary a peep of correction from them as of this writing. I am referring to the AP story written by Lauran Neergsard on Wednesday which blasted out this headline: "Man in Mexico died of a bird flu strain that hadn’t been confirmed before in a human, WHO says."

A man’s death in Mexico was caused by a strain of bird flu called H5N2 that has never before been found in a human, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

The WHO said it wasn’t clear how the man became infected, although H5N2 has been reported in poultry in Mexico.

However, when you read a few paragraphs down, you see more information that reveals that perhaps it was not bird flu that caused the man's death despite what the AP headline said:

According to family members, the WHO release said, the patient had been bedridden for unrelated reasons before developing a fever, shortness of breath and diarrhea on April 17. Mexico’s public health department said in a statement that he had underlying ailments, including chronic kidney failure, diabetes and high blood pressure.

"Chronic kidney failure, diabetes, and high blood pressure." That's quite a list of "underlying ailments." And if you thought that perhaps AP should have held off on its alarmist headline, you would be right because a couple of days later on Friday, Reuters reported that "Mexico says bird flu patient died of chronic disease, not virus."

A man who contracted bird flu in Mexico died due to chronic diseases and not the virus, Mexico's health ministry said on Friday.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization reported the first laboratory-confirmed human case of infection with A(H5N2) avian influenza in Mexico.

In a Friday press conference in Geneva, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier described the man's case as a "multifactorial death" and noted that experts were still investigating whether he was infected by someone or by contact with animals.

...Mexico's health ministry on Friday stressed that the 59-year-old man's death was due to chronic conditions that led to septic shock, and was not attributed to the virus.

"The diseases were long-term and caused conditions that led to the failure of several organs," the ministry said, citing the findings by a team of experts.

...The ministry added that there is no evidence of person-to-person transmission of the A(H5N2) virus stemming from the case.

It appears that WHO and AP jumped the gun in promoting the idea that the man in Mexico died from bird virus. And yet still (as of this writing) no update nor correction of the fake news bird flu story by AP.

Many people can see the record of WHO on the COVID pandemic and be skeptical of their search for new pandemics. AP, who has a soft spot or a natural affinity for global bureaucracies, is not that kind of skeptic.