Coronavirus Corrections: Roundup - iMediaEthics

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A CDC graphic of the coronavirus (Credit :CDC)

A roundup of noteworthy corrections from news outlets reporting on coronavirus.

1. Newsweek said that the fatality rate for coronavirus patients in their 70s was a whopping 80% but it really was 8%. The Newsweek article stated:

“A summary of a report on over 72,000 COVID-19 cases by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the journal JAMA on Monday showed the case fatality rate was 2.3 percent of average, spiking to 80 percent in patients aged between 70 to 79-years-old, and dropping to 14.8 percent in those aged 80 and above.”

However, the JAMA link shows the correct rate is 8%. iMediaEthics wrote to Newsweek‘s reporter Kashmira Gander seeking a correction, but didn’t hear back. However, Newsweek has added these corrections:

Correction: This article originally stated 8,098 people died of SARS during 2003. This was the number of people who became sick. 774 people died.

The article originally stated the case-fatality rate of COVID-19 patients aged 70-79 years is 80 percent. It is 8 percent. Newsweek regrets these errors.

2. NPR erred in reporting on the transmission.

A Feb. 26 correction reads:

“An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that the latest coronavirus case in the U.S. could be the first person-to-person transmission in the country. It should have said it could represent the first case of the virus spreading within the general population. The first person-to-person transmission of the virus actually took place last month.”

3. The Los Angeles Times‘ Feb. 29 correction:

Coronavirus in California: In some editions of the Feb. 29 Section A, an article about efforts to fight the spread of coronavirus in California misattributed information about the number of people quarantined with connections to NorthBay VacaValley hospital. It was Steve Huddleston, vice president of public affairs of NorthBay Healthcare, not UC Davis spokesman Steve Telliano, who said that the hospital has a staff of about a couple of hundred and that the quarantine affected dozens connected to the hospital. Also, the last name of Sacramento County’s director of health services, Peter Beilenson, was misspelled Beilson.”

4. The New York Times’ March 4 correction:

“An article on Tuesday about efforts to increase testing for the coronavirus in the United States, relying on remarks by Dr. Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, referred imprecisely to the availability of coronavirus testing in the United States. Dr. Hahn intended to say that the administration could have the capacity for approximately one million tests by the end of the week, not that one million tests could be administered by the end of the week. (The error was repeated in a separate article on Tuesday about missteps by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that left the potential for the virus’s spread.)”

5. The Guardian’s March 5 correction:

“• In early editions of Thursday’s paper, a front-page article (Government accused of secrecy over virus spread, 5 March, page 1) was wrong to say that Public Health England (PHE) had made the decision to only release weekly information about the location of new coronavirus cases. The decision was announced by the chief medical officer for England on the Department of Health and Social Care website. In addition, the piece quoted Prof John Ashton, a former regional director of PHE, but misnamed him as Paul Ashford.”

UPDATED: 3/7/2020 To add additional corrections

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Coronavirus Corrections: Roundup

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