Quite the Correction: NYT Retracts Massive Error on Number of Children Hospitalized by COVID

Posted: Oct 08, 2021 10:45 PM
Quite the Correction: NYT Retracts Massive Error on Number of Children Hospitalized by COVID

Source: AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File

The New York Times made a massive correction to an article by Apoorva Mandavilli that initially claimed that nearly 900,000 children had been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the pandemic began in the spring of 2020, a far cry from the true number of about 63,000 children hospitalized since August 2020, as The Times stated in their correction.

The Times' original article exaggerated the number of children hospitalized with the coronavirus by 837,000 cases.

Also included in the report were inaccurate descriptions of actions taken by regulators in Sweden and Denmark, as well as an error regarding the timing of a critical Food and Drug Administration meeting. 

"An earlier version of this article incorrectly described actions taken by regulators in Sweden and Denmark. They have halted use of the Moderna vaccine in children; they have not begun offering single doses," the correction from Thursday read. "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."

This correction from The Times prompted criticisms from other members of the media, including Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who slammed the paper for replacing a competent reporter covering the coronavirus with Mandavilli.

"NYT 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. Now we have an incompetent in his place constantly doing this, or saying it's racist to investigate COVID origins," he tweeted, referring to Mandavilli previously saying in a tweet that the lab leak theory had "racist roots."

Less than 500 children have died from COVID-19, according to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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