The Big Picture…
I’m not reading too much into this morning’s story on Dr. Sanjay Gupta operating on someone other than what was originally reported while he was in Nepal.
CNN’s chief medical correspondent and star surgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta is facing criticism for his reporting from Nepal in the aftermath of April’s massive earthquake. “I don’t like to make mistakes,” Gupta told NPR Tuesday night.
But he’s accused of making a mistake: misidentifying a young girl he’d performed surgery on. CNN reported Gupta had performed brain surgery on 8-year-old Salina Dahal, who had been badly injured in the quake. Global Press Journal tracked down the little girl, only to find she had never had surgery of any kind, suffering cuts and bruises and a broken wrist in the earthquake. “Without emergent surgery, she’ll have permanent damage. Or, like so many other earthquake victims, she’ll die,” Gupta reported.
I have no reason not to take Gupta at his word that he really thought he was operating on Dahal. There’s nothing in Gupta’s history to suggest that he’s anything other than a straight shooter…albeit, in this case, one who got this story wrong.
Some people were using some pretty harsh language to describe what Gupta did. Some said he lied. Others made allusions to MSNBC’s resident fabulist Brian Williams.
Both accusations I would consider wildly off the mark. Yes, he got the identities wrong but if you look at the big picture the story really doesn’t change. He didn’t fabricate a scenario out of thin air. He did indeed operate on someone to save their life.
So, barring any new unforeseen revelations, I view this as nothing more than a minor blip on Gupta’s record; one that will eventually recede into the fog of time and be forgotten.