NYT Issues Correction After Claiming 900K Children Hospitalized By COVID-19; In Reality, It’s About 63K

JO1 JOSHUA SMITH, USN | Credit: U.S Navy
An 11-year old Indonesian boy sleeps in a hospital bed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) aboard the Military Sealift Command (MSC) Hospital Ship USNS MERCY (T-AH 19). The boy was found floating in the ocean two days after the Tsunami struck his home of Banda Aceh on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Shortly after MERCY arrived on station off the coast, the boy was flown to the ship to receive treatment for an acute case of aspiration pneumonia. He is expected to make a full recovery. The MERCY is currently off the waters of Indonesia in support of Operation UNIFIED ASSISTANCE the humanitarian relief effort to aid the victims of the Tsunami that struck Southeast Asia on December 26, 2004.

The New York Times issued a correction to a story last week which had incorrectly stated that 900,000 children had been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, clarifying that the actual metric the reporter should have used was 63,000.

There were two other errors in the piece, which received more attention for its corrections than its reporting.

The article was written by Apoorva Mandavilli and discussed a strategy for vaccinating children against the COVID-19 virus which involves just one dose to try to reduce the potential rare side effect of myocarditis, which generally occurs after a second dose and has parents concerned.

In the United States, COVID-19 vaccinations have only been approved for patients over the age of 12.

“Officials in Hong Kong as well as in Britain, Norway and other countries have recommended a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 12 and older — providing partial protection from the virus, but without the potential harms occasionally observed after two doses,” Mandavilli reported.

“Health officials in those countries are particularly worried about increasing data suggesting that myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart, may be more common among adolescents and young adults after vaccination than had been thought,” she continued.

However, the article was roundly mocked on Twitter after the Times subtly issued a jaw-dropping correction, stating that Mandavilli had initially stated that 900,000 children have been hospitalized since the beginning of the pandemic.

The real was just a fraction of this number, it turns out.

“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,” the Times’ correction stated.

The Blaze notes that it is unclear where Mandavilli got the grossly inflated figure of total child hospitalizations.

However, wherever she got her incorrect data, it wasn’t the only correction issued for the piece.

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

One more: “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.”


That’s a lot of corrections for one story, particularly one having to do with an issue that currently has the attention of millions of parents around the country.

If you appreciate the work we are doing for faith, family, and freedom, please consider a small donation to help us continue. Thank you so much!