Iran says Official Who Played Down Coronavirus Fears is Infected

Article Link: https://www.snopes.com/ap/2020/02/25/iran-says-official-who-played-down-coronavirus-fears-is-infected/

Discussion posted by: David McNamara

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The head of an Iranian government task force on the coronavirus who had urged the public not to overreact about its spread has tested positive for the illness himself, authorities said Tuesday, as new cases emanating from the country rapidly emerged across the Middle East. Only a day earlier, a coughing and heavily sweating Iraj Harirchi told journalists at a televised news conference in Tehran that “the situation is almost stable in the country.” The acknowledgement of Harirchi’s illness underscores a growing crisis of confidence felt by many in Iran after nationwide economic protests, a U.S. drone striking killing a top Iranian general and Iran accidentally shooting down a commercial jetliner and insisting for days that it hadn’t.