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A blog by Leon Oudejans

New York Times Retracts Massive Exaggeration of Children Hospitalized by COVID-19 (NR)

Introduction LO:

Today, the size of the US population is slightly over 330 million people. The (now retracted) New York Times article below stated that nearly 900,000 children (almost 0,3%) had been hospitalized with Covid-19, while the total number of American corona fatalities is almost 742,000 (or 0,225%), including some 500 children.

Clearly, this NYT writer – like nearly everyone else – has no clue about the distinction between asymptomatic virus carriers and symptomatic virus carriers. I must admit that it took me a while to digest its importance.

My moment of clarity arrived after a June 2020 WHO announcement by Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove that asymptomatic virus carriers spread the virus in “very rare” cases (eg, AD, Guardian, YouTube). Then, I realised my analysis lacked a crucial variable: the distinction between asymptomatic and symptomatic virus carriers.

Based on the cumulative national American average fatality rate of 0,225% (see above), there are two – rather distinct – possibilities:

1. In case of about 100% symptomatic virus carriers, then the cumulative coronavirus mortality is (indeed) about as bad as two severe flu years. This is a popular opinion within certain groups.

2. In case of about 5% symptomatic virus carriers, then the coronavirus is very lethal (c.5%) for a small group (c.5%) of people because 5% x 5% equals 0,25%.
This option fits well with the lab leak theory: a successfully (sic!) modified virus escapes during a BSL-4 lab relocation. If that genetic modification had not been successful, then the number of symptomatic virus carriers would have been much higher than c.5%.

Hence, about 95% of any global population has no or mild Covid-19 symptoms (eg, fatigue, headache). These people are called asymptomatic virus carriers.

Remarkably, this explanation / option is not even available in the COVID-19 Symptom Survey Questionnaire as set up by Maryland University and distributed through Facebook. Hence, I keep on entering “other”.

I understand why a group of people assumes that Covid-19 is a conspiracy (eg, Big Pharma) but I just don’t believe in complex conspiracies. I think, feel and believe that the only explanation is as simple as human stupidity (eg, NYT article below).

National Review title: New York Times Retracts Massive Exaggeration of Children Hospitalized by COVID-19

Date: 8 October 2021

“In an article published by New York Times reporter Apoorva Mandavilli on Wednesday, Times readers were told that “nearly 900,000 children have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the pandemic began.”

A correction issued on Thursday notes that the correct number is 63,000 between August 2020 and October 2021, which means Mandavilli exaggerated the number of child hospitalizations by 837,000 cases. Approximately 500 American children have eventually died from the disease. The exaggeration was included in a report on the debate surrounding whether and how to vaccinate children.

Mandavilli has been a controversial figure at the Times for her ideologically-colored pandemic coverage. In May, she tweeted that “Someday we will stop talking about the lab leak theory and maybe even admit its racist roots. But alas, that day is not today.” She later deleted the tweet but not before adding “a theory can have racist roots and still gather reasonable supporters along the way. Doesn’t make the roots any less racist or the theory any more convincing, though.”

The theory has not yet been disproved. To the contrary, it has picked up a number of prominent supporters in the scientific community, including former Times reporters Nicholas Wade and Donald McNeil. McNeil was the lead coronavirus reporter at the publication prior to his being fired and smeared by the Times for uttering a racial epithet in the context of discussing its moral valence and grace on an educational trip several years ago.

The correction is notable as the nature of the threat that coronavirus poses to children figures heavily in the continued and often partisan debates over vaccine and mask mandates in schools.

While Republicans such as Florida governor Ron DeSantis maintain that such decisions should be left up to parents, President Joe Biden and American Federation of Teachers head Randi Weingarten have advocated for mandates, insisting that they’re necessary to protect students and staff alike.

In many states and localities across the country, educators were among the first to have the opportunity to be vaccinated. The Food and Drug Administration is presently considering a proposal to authorize the Pfizer vaccine for children from the ages of 5-11, and is expected to meet to discuss the matter on October 26.”



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