We Shouldn’t Be Playing Games with Pediatric Cases | National Review

We Shouldn’t Be Playing Games with Pediatric Cases | National Review


Five-year-old Milo receives the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine at Rady’s Children’s Hospital in San Diego, Calif., November 3, 2021. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Here is an NBC story with a headline that is naturally going to concern any parent: “Child Covid hospitalizations are up, especially in 5 states.”

It isn’t until the seventh paragraph that the story notes this from Dr. Paul Offit of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia:

However, he said, his hospital has seen a lot of kids test positive for Covid without necessarily showing symptoms or getting sick.

“We test anybody who’s admitted to the hospital for whatever reason to see whether or not they have Covid, and we’re definitely seeing an increase in cases. However, we’re really not seeing an increase in children who are hospitalized for Covid or in the intensive care unit for Covid,” Offit said.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, patients are counted among those with Covid if they are suspected of having or laboratory-confirmed positive for the disease, even if they were not originally admitted to the hospital for that reason.

At least this context is in the story. Later, the piece reports:

In recent days, New York has seen a particularly notable increase, putting more parents on high alert.

The New York State Department of Health sent a notice to physicians on Christmas Eve warning of an “upward trend” in pediatric hospitalizations.

The increase was concentrated in the New York City area, according to the notice, which drew from data compiled between Dec. 5 to the week starting Dec. 19.

The notice did not specify the number of children hospitalized, but it said New York City admissions rose “fourfold” during that time period in December.

Here’s a clip, though, of the acting health commissioner of New York State saying those numbers were very small and the alert was meant to motivate doctors and parents to get their kids vaccinated — i.e., scare them with a misleading account into doing what the health bureaucracy wants them to.

This, needless to say, is not how public health or public persuasion should work.





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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.