Trump campaign issues apology for publishing false COVID-19 information

Trump campaign analyst falsely identified a private citizen as being sick with Coronavirus on Instagram

Washington D.C. – A man was falsely identified as the CPAC attendee who tested positive for the Coronavirus. Trump campaign analyst Jalen Johnson named the individual in an Instagram post on Sunday, March 8, 2020.

Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin tweeted on Thursday, condemning the initial reports of Johnson’s Instagram post that, she says, “falsely accuse @raficarone_21 of “testing positive” for virus. Maliciously false. Rafaello is a private citizen.”

D.C. correspondent Jack Posobeic also took notice to the controversy, which he retweeted on twitter.

Johnson originally published the false news on his Instagram page on Sunday, March 8, 2020 stating, “Breaking: @raficarone_21 officially comes down with the Coronavirus, days after attending CPAC.” Johnson included a screenshot of the conversation, where @raficarone_21 states that he is “sick.” Johnson also provided a link to the man’s public instagram account.

When reached for comment by hbg100.com on Monday, March 9, 2020, the private citizen denied the allegations of Trump campaign staffer Jalen Johnson, stating that the he does not have the virus and the allegations are false.

Deputy Director of Communications for the Trump campaign Matt Wolking provided hbg100.com with a copy of Johnson’s apology ‪statement‬:

Trump campaign analyst Jalen Johnson admits his previously published claim about COVID-19 “is not true, it was not meant to be serious, it was just kidding,” and he apologized for being insensitive.

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