Liberty University has filed a $10 million defamation suit against the New York Times over the newspaper’s coverage of Liberty’s decision to reopen its campus in March.
According to a report by the Hill, Liberty University is suing the New York Times over coverage of the campus’ reopening at the end of March. The university has taken issue with the newspaper’s suggestion that a dozen students were infected with the Chinese virus on campus.
“Not only are they a bigoted bunch of liars, and also [a] BuzzFeed-type clickbait publication now,” Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr said during an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News.
In a report that was filed at the end of March, the New York Times reported that 12 students at Liberty University were sick with symptoms that suggested that had contracted the Chinese virus. In response to the report, Liberty University officials criticized two New York Times staffers for traveling to campus during the pandemic.
“But they’re also stupid, because they came on campus. We had 25, at least, ‘No Trespassing’ signs everywhere, and they were dumb enough to take pictures of the signs and publish them,” Falwell added.
Falwell claims that the New York Times spoke with a doctor near Liberty University that had treated students with flu-like symptoms. Despite the report’s claims, Falwell says that no students Liberty University have tested posted for the Chinese virus.
“I think they got their information from a doctor who has a practice 10 miles away from Liberty, who had seen a few Liberty kids who had a cold and upper respiratory problem. And none of it was anything like COVID symptoms,” Falwell told Hannity. “He told the reporters to go and talk to our on-campus doctor at our clinic on campus, and they wouldn’t do it. They didn’t talk to us.”
Breitbart News reported in April that Falwell had announced that he had brought criminal trespassing charges against two journalists after they traveled to campus to report on its reopening.
“When people are coming from known hot spots, we feel we owe it to our students and our parents not to let that happen,” Falwell said at the time. “The only way to send the message is to let them know they will be prosecuted.”
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