Did an Australian government health organization use actors to portray COVID-19 patients?

Tuesday, September 14, 2021
By Christiana Dillard

The people featured in an Australian public health video are real COVID-19 patients.

A video by New South Wales Health included clips from patients with COVID-19 talking about their serious illness and advocating vaccinations.

That video was assailed on social media as fake, purportedly using actors to portray patients. A major news program, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Media Watch, aired a program debunking the social media posts by identifying the patients by name and by photo.

But social media users snipped the Media Watch story to create a version that seemed to agree that actors were the patients.

The snipped version left out details including the Media Watch anchor saying, as he referred to a female patient by name, "So is Ramona a crisis actor pretending to have COVID for New South Wales Health? No, of course she's not."

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