The story in the New York Times advising us that people who had covid should vaccinate anyway stunned me. Oh it wasn't the bad medical advice. The only thing credible in the Times is its crossword puzzle. 

What stunned me was the byline: Apoorva Mandavilli. She still has a job.

Her previous story was on October 6, "A New Vaccine Strategy for Children: Just One Dose, for Now. Myocarditis, a rare side effect, occurs mostly after the second dose. So in some countries, officials are trying out single doses for children."

Her error was so massive that it drew headlines on both sides of the Atlantic.

Fox reported, "The New York Times issued a massive correction Thursday after the liberal newspaper severely misreported the number of covid hospitalities among children in the United States by more than 800,000."

As Barbie said, math class is tough.

And Fox said, "The paper also botched actions taken by regulators in Sweden and Denmark and even bungled the timing of a critical FDA meeting."

The Daily Mail reported, "The mistake comes after Mandavilli angered Twitter users back in May when she claimed the theory that Covid was leaked from a Wuhan lab has 'racist roots'

"Her flip-flop on the issue reflected that of the larger mainstream media, which originally dismissed the idea that the virus originated in a lab studying bats."

I found when I switched from the feature writing side to the opinion side that readers react differently to them. An error in a feature story typically draws a reaction of "thank you for the story and oh by the way, 63,000 kids were hospitalized not 900,000." In an opinion piece, the reaction is typically, "hey stupid, there were 63,000 kids hospitalized not 63,001."

Apoorva Mandavilli slid into the opinion area when she called questioning the official party line about the origin of covid racist.

In her latest piece, "If You’ve Had Covid, Do You Need the Vaccine?" Mandavilli advises people who recovered from covid to be vaccinated.

Buried in Paragraphs 22 and 23 was a study that said natural immunity works.

The story said, "At the Cleveland Clinic, none of 1,359 health care workers who remained unvaccinated after having Covid-19 tested positive for the virus over many months, noted Dr. Nabin Shrestha, an infectious disease physician at the clinic.

"But the findings must be interpreted with caution, he acknowledged. The clinic tested only people who were visibly ill, and may have missed reinfections that did not produce symptoms. The participants were 39 years old on average, so the results may not apply to older adults, who would be more likely to become infected again." 

Yes because we know how working at a hospital never exposes you to viruses.

But who knows how much truth there is in her story? It may have been 900,000 health care workers or it may be that the 1,359 keeled over and died gasping for air.

And that is my whole point. That byline is a warning that the story could be error-prone because the reporter does not know what she is doing.

Newspapers used to fire or force out reporters who filed FUBAR stories. Even the New York Times did. Remember Jayson Blair?

But we live in an unenlightened age where Pulitzers are handed out for promoting Russian Collusion, a discredited conspiracy theory paid for by Hillary Clinton.

Instead of holding Mandavilli accountable, NYT published a correction which signaled its virtue as it pretended a correction fixed the problem. The real corrective would be to fire her because without a penalty, she will remain careless, as will others at NYT who notice how little the truth matters to the NYT.

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