NYT Issues Significant Correction After Overstating Coronavirus Hospitalizations of Children

A child watches from a hospital room as a convoy of first responders arrives to a children's hospital as part of Operation Good Night Lights on December 21, 2020 in Valhalla, New York. Their lights flashing and sirens wailing, police, fire and EMS departments from throughout Westchester County convoyed to …
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The New York Times issued a significant correction Thursday after misreporting the number of coronavirus hospitalizations among children in the U.S. by over 800,000.

The article titled “A New Vaccine Strategy for Children: Just One Dose, for Now,” written by science and health reporter Apoorva Mandavilli, was “peppered with errors before major changes were made to the story,” according to Fox News.

“The Times initially reported ‘nearly 900,000 children have been hospitalized’ with COVID since the pandemic began, when the factual data in the now-corrected version is that ‘more than 63,000 children were hospitalized with Covid-19 from August 2020 to October 2021,'” the Fox article continued.

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The New York Times’ masthead is displayed in front of the midtown headquarters in New York City.(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The newspaper also apparently bungled actions by regulators in Sweden and Denmark and the timing of an FDA meeting.

“An earlier version of this article incorrectly described actions taken by regulators in Sweden and Denmark,” the correction read:

They have halted use of the Moderna vaccine in children; they have not begun offering single doses. The article also misstated the number of Covid hospitalizations in U.S. children. It is more than 63,000 from August 2020 to October 2021, not 900,000 since the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, the article misstated the timing of an F.D.A. meeting on authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children. It is later this month, not next week.

According to Mandavilli’s profile on the Times‘ website, she was the 2019 winner of the Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting.

“She is the founding editor in chief of Spectrum, an award-winning news site on autism science that grew an audience of millions. She led the team there for 13 years. She joined The Times in May 2020, after two years as a regular contributor,” her profile read.

Twitter users expressed their opinions regarding the correction, one person writing, “That’s … a lot of corrections on some really important stats.”

“You cannot read this and say these were on accident. This is clearly an agenda,” another user commented.


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