WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The Russian Embassy in the United States called on Bloomberg news agency to apologise for what it described as the use of forged data in a publication that accuses Moscow of mishandling the coronavirus outbreak.
“The author of the article decided to back up the flood of unfounded politicised charges with statistics from the World Bank on the number of hospital beds per 1,000 people in Russia and OECD countries in 2013. The editors of Bloomberg sank to a blatant forgery and swapped graphics,” the embassy said in a statement posted on Facebook on Tuesday.
The Bloomberg Opinion article claimed that “the rapid spread of COVID-19 has strained a Russian health system that is suffering from poor funding and incomplete post-Soviet reforms”.
The embassy demanded that Bloomberg retract the publication, apologise “and respect its own clients”.
After the embassy’s statement, Bloomberg made corrections to the article by changing the captions to the graphics. In the postscript to the article it is noted that the “confused inscriptions to the graphics” have been corrected. No other corrections are reported in the article.
As previously noted by the Russian embassy, in basing Russia’s alleged problems on incorrect graphics, the news agency mentioned “insufficient funding, incomplete reforms, (and) lack of medicines and equipment”.
Thus, as emphasised by the diplomatic mission, the agency actually listed the problems of OECD countries. However, these problems were presented as problems of Russia.
The article, authored by Clara Ferrera-Marquez, appeared in the Opinions section and contains an annotation that the author’s opinion does not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the agency’s editorial staff.