Reporter apologizes for Putin event Covid claims
The Russian leader’s marathon press conference was clearly too much to handle for one reporter.
A journalist has apologized after bragging about using the results of an outdated Covid-19 test to gain access to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual press event and saying she had a fever, which she later claimed was due to her simply being over-excited and running on little sleep.
In a now-deleted post uploaded to social media on Thursday, Anna Shishmintseva from the Kurgan region in Central Russia, wrote that “the first thing that made me laugh so hard was that they let me into [the conference venue - Moscow Manege] with the wrong dates for my PCR tests (thanks for not paying attention).”
The journalist from the outlet Oblast 45 later posted a video in which she said she was finally able to go outside because her fever had gone down.
After whipping up a frenzy, Shishmintseva attempted to put fears to rest that she could have been a potential super-spreader at the event. “I apologize to all my fellow journalists and the organizers of the press conference for the bad joke I made about the temperature,” she wrote on Instagram on Friday.
“I admit that it was a stupid thing to do. I repeat, the fever was due to excitement. I'm sorry for putting your health at risk. I took two PCR tests today at different places, went to the doctor, and had blood work done. I don’t have a respiratory illness or Covid,” she said, providing proof of her check-up.
On Thursday, Putin staged his annual end-of-year press conference, in which he set out his opinion on hot topics ranging from tensions with NATO, Ukraine, Russia’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, and jailed Western-backed opposition figure Alexey Navalny.
Russia has been battling a high number of Covid-19 infections in recent weeks, with daily cases registering below 25,000 for the first time since October 1 on Friday. Over 300,000 coronavirus fatalities have been recorded in the world’s largest country since the outbreak of the pandemic, although the excess death toll has surpassed 810,000.