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Photographer behind viral photos of “health workers” blocking lockdown protestors walks back original claims

No one has verified whether the so-called “health worker” actually work at a hospital.
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On Sunday April 19, freelance photographer Alyson McClaran and her boyfriend Marc Zenn posted photos and videos of what they claimed to be “nurses” and “health care workers” counter-protesting lockdown protestors in Denver, Colorado.

These photos went viral on social media and were quickly picked up by many mainstream media outlets which repeated the claims that the man and woman in scrubs were health workers.

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Many legacy media outlets claimed that the man and woman in scrubs were health workers (CNN, Insider, Newsweek, The Guardian)
Many mainstream media outlets claimed that the man and woman in scrubs were health workers (CNN, Insider, Newsweek, The Guardian)

After the photos were posted, some social media users raised doubts about whether the individuals were actually health workers because:

And now, the photographer behind these viral photos has admitted that she doesn’t actually know whether the individuals were health care workers as she had originally claimed.

“I believe that they are, but regardless of who they are, it’s more about the message they were sending,” McClaran told BuzzFeed News.

It has so-far proved impossible to verify whether the individuals worked at any local hospitals.

CNN, which described the individuals as “health workers,” also stated in its article that the man and woman “were not identified.”

Despite these health worker claims being unverified, many mainstream media outlets ran with them anyway and used the premise that these individuals are health workers to create the narrative that the lockdown protestors are against health care workers.

While it’s possible that the individuals in these photos and videos are health workers, mainstream media outlets have a track record of using unverified claims to build narratives that later fall apart with the Covington kids encounter and the Jussie Smollett fiasco being two prime examples of this.

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