Lindsey Kornick at Fox News reported The Texas Tribune, a left-leaning Texas outlet, published a report warning “Texas children and children’s hospitals are under siege from two viruses: RSV and COVID-19.”
Initially, the Tribune included the scary statistic that 5,800 children in Texas were hospitalized with COVID over the course of seven days in the beginning of August. This was eagerly pushed out by leftist bloggers like Jen Rubin of The Washington Post.
“Unconscionable: Over 5,800 children in Texas were newly hospitalized with COVID-19 in the seven-day period ending on Aug. 8, a 37% increase from a week prior. where is the pro-life movement ?? it’s now a death cult,” Rubin tweeted.
There’s just one problem. The numbers were way off.
The correction was first noticed by Bloomberg reporter Steven Dennis.
“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.”
“That’s one heck of a correction,” Dennis tweeted. He added “Folks need to get better at math. Should have a statistics course in every high school and every j-school.”
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) August 12, 2021
So over five weeks there were 783 children, not 5,800 over one week. Brent Scher, executive editor of the Washington Free Beacon, tweeted on the bad math: “I did the math here. The claim: 828 hospitalizations a day Reality: 19 a day. Only off by about 43x.” No wonder Jen Rubin deleted her tweet!
Skeptics pointed out the slippery language of the Tribune correction. Not “hospitalized with COVID,” but “admitted to Texas hospitals with COVID.” So they was no measurement of how serious their admissions were, for how many days they stayed.
Once again, the people who think they represent Science have bungled the actual numbers and massively exaggerated the problem. Creating a viral tweet seems to get ahead of doing basic math.
PS: Rubin wrote an editorial hammering on the same point on the same day that the “MAGA governors” are endangering lives:
The worst perpetrators of this avoidable tragedy are not a few stray crackpots such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.); they are, in fact, among the top contenders for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Not all Republicans are prohibiting mask or vaccine mandates, but all governors who do so — in Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Florida, South Carolina, Texas and Utah — are Republican.
This is certainly not a “pro-life” party. Around the country, Americans in large numbers have figured out what these political hacks are up to: sacrificing the health and lives of Americans at the altar of their political ambition.