Amid the move by the federal government and vaccine manufacturers to approve inoculation of children for COVID-19, the New York Times reported more than 900,000 children have been hospitalized with the disease since the beginning of the pandemic.
But that figure isn’t anywhere close to the truth, as the Times had to admit in a correction published Friday. The best figure for hospitalization of children due to COVID-19 is about 63,000 from August 2020 to October 2021.
The report by science and health reporter Apoorva Mandavilli, “A New Vaccine Strategy for Children: Just One Dose, for Now,” had other errors as well, the Times correction pointed out.
An earlier version of the article also incorrectly reported the decision this week by regulators in Sweden and Denmark to halt the use of the Moderna vaccine in young people. The Times erroneously said the Nordic nations were offering single doses to children. The article also misstated the timing of an FDA meeting on authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children.
An independent expert panel commissioned by the FDA will publicly debate the safety and efficacy evidence on Oct. 26.
Critics of administering COVID-19 vaccines to children, including Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins University, argue the risk of death in children due to COVID-19 is virtually zero statistically.
Reacting to the Times correction, investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald pointed out that the paper “had an outstanding, highly experienced COVID reporter, but was fired because he made very rich teenagers unhappy when forced to entertain them on a paid trip.”
The reference was to Donald McNeil Jr., who was forced to step down earlier this year.
“Now we have an incompetent in his place constantly doing this, or saying it’s racist to investigate COVID origins,” Greenwald said.
Mandavilli has said the coronavirus lab-leak theory had “racist roots.”
However, it was another former New York Times science reporter who had a significant role in pushing the lab-leak theory into the mainstream. Nicholas Wade published a nearly 11,000-word analysis in May concluding the circumstantial evidence overwhelmingly points to a lab leak.
At a candidate forum Thursday night with reporters, Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe grossly overestimated the number of children in the state’s intensive care unit beds, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
“We in Virginia today, 1,142 children are in ICU beds,” McAuliffe said.
However, Virginia Department of Health statistics show that there are a total of 443 people of all ages currently in ICU beds.
And state records show that since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of only 1,094 individuals younger than 19 years old have been hospitalized with COVID-19.
McAuliffe also claimed Virginia had 8,000 COVID cases on Oct. 4. But the Virginia Department of Health counted only 1,220 “confirmed” cases and another 864 “probable” cases.
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