New York Times corrects story that exaggerated hospitalizations of Covid-19 children by more than 90%

The New York Times must have published a dozen corrections to an article by its Covid-19 reporter Apoorva Mandavilli, which somehow inflated the number of American children hospitalized with the virus to 14 times the actual level.

Mandavilli said in his article, published Tuesday, that nearly 900,000 children infected with Covid had been hospitalized in the United States since the start of the pandemic. As the Times admitted on Thursday, available data shows the correct figure from August 2020 to October 2021 was over 63,000.

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The inaccuracies did not end there. The correction also noted that contrary to information from Mandavilli, Sweden and Denmark have not started offering single-dose vaccines to children. The journal added that the story skewed the schedule for an upcoming FDA meeting regarding the proposed use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in children as young as five years old.

The magnitude of the erroneous hospitalization figure was reminiscent of President Joe Biden’s blunders, for example in saying that 120 million Americans had died from Covid-19 and 150 million had been killed by gun violence. It is not known exactly how the blunder came about, but mainstream media have been accused of touting the severity of the pandemic. A hidden camera investigation conducted by Project Veritas in April purported to show a CNN technical director claiming the outlet intentionally stoked Covid-19 fears to raise ratings.

Ironically, the Times itself has denounced the disinformation about Covid-19. For example, the newspaper earlier this week ran an article defaming Dr. Joseph Mercola as “The most influential disseminator of coronavirus disinformation.” In August, the Times said “Russian disinformation” was rumored to suggest that the Biden administration would impose a Covid-19 vaccine mandate. A month later, Biden ordered health care facilities, federal contractors and businesses with more than 100 employees to force their workers to get vaccinated, choosing to withdraw the vaccine from around 100 million Americans.

While The Times and other mainstream media have presented themselves as the arbiter of truth, Mandavilli’s flawed article is just the latest in a long line of inaccurate reporting from the newspaper. For example, the newspaper falsely claimed that Russia offered bounties to US troops in Afghanistan and that policeman Brian Sicknick was murdered by pro-Trump rioters on the US Capitol.

“The New York Times is a super-broadcaster of disinformation,” said Christina Pushaw, press secretary to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Mandavilli sparked the ire of conservatives in May, when she said the theory that Covid-19 had leaked from the Chinese Institute of Virology in Wuhan had “Racist roots”. She later deleted her Twitter post, lamenting that the rejection of her remark was “Ridiculous. “

“Someday we’ll stop talking about the lab leak theory and maybe even admit its racist roots,” Mandavilli said in the original tweet. “But alas, that day is not yet here. “

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It’s unclear why the reporter wanted the lab leak theory to go away, as even White House chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci said he should be investigated after he previously tried to crush the notion.

The Wall Street Journal had reported two days earlier that three scientists from the Wuhan laboratory had been hospitalized with symptoms of Covid-19 in the fall of 2019, near the time when the first cases of the virus were reported in China.

Former Times senior reporter on Covid-19, Pulitzer Prize nominee Donald McNeil Jr., resigned under pressure in February after colleagues campaigned for his dismissal. His sin was to answer a high school student’s question about a classmate’s use of the N word by repeating the insult when he asked for context on how it was used. He had worked for the newspaper since 1976.

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New York Times corrects story that exaggerated hospitalizations of Covid-19 children by more than 90%