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Persistence, restraint win AP widely cited exclusive on death for political commentator “Diamond”

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Reporters Hannah Schoenbaum and Lea Skene exclusively obtained the death certificate of pro-Trump commentator, Lynnette “Diamond” Hardaway to help dispel rumors and misinformation running wild on social media.

After Hardaway’s sister falsely implied that a COVID vaccine had played a role during a livestreamed memorial, AP used restraint by deciding not to write about what was said about the cause of death at the memorial while waiting for an official autopsy or death certificate that the reporters had already requested.

When Schoenbaum and Skene received the death certificate on Monday, Skene’s notes on the sister’s comments were ready to go. Schoenbaum began writing and worked with the fact check team, US Desk and Health/Science team to include the proper context about the false internet rumors. Other national outlets who couldn’t match the reporting on the death certificate credited AP, including NBC News, the LA Times, People and The Huffington Post.

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