Claim Coronavirus Hospitalized 5,800 Children

Texas Tribune Corrects Claim Coronavirus Hospitalized 5,800 Children in a Week

Students waking in the hallway at Tibbals Elementary School place their arms in front as a reminder to socially distance in Murphy, Texas, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Texas Gov. Greg Abbot's statewide mask order does not mandate face covering for children under the age of 10, allowing some school districts …
AP Photo/LM Otero

The Texas Tribune had to issue a mea culpa this week after falsely claiming that 5,800 children were hospitalized from the coronavirus in the course of just seven days.

In an article posted Thursday, the Texas Tribune argued that pediatric hospitals in the Lone Star State were under significant stress not only from the coronavirus but also from an outbreak of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which primarily infects children aged fivee and under. Originally, the article claimed that 5,800 children were hospitalized in the course of a week when the number was actually 783 over the course of a month, between July 1 and August 9.

An earlier version of this story overstated the number of children who have been hospitalized in Texas recently with COVID-19. The story said over 5,800 children had been hospitalized during a seven-day period in August, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That number correctly referred to children hospitalized with COVID-19 since the pandemic began. In actuality, 783 children were admitted to Texas hospitals with COVID-19 between July 1 and Aug. 9 of this year.

 

 

The article also tacitly argued that Gov. Abbott’s lifting of the state’s mask mandate further accelerated the outbreak of RSV in Texas, implying that masking could be used to curtail other potentially fatal viruses.

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