WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) removed approximately 24 percent of all pediatric deaths resulting from COVID-19 from their pandemic date tracker on Wednesday, citing a “coding logic error” that has since been fixed.
Originally, the CDC’s COVID-19 data tracker had recorded 1,755 deaths in children aged 0 to 17 from the start of the pandemic, and suggested that a greater percentage of child deaths were occurring earlier this year due to the advent of the COVID Omicron variant; during the first 10 weeks of 2022, the CDC noted that 738 children had died from the virus.
However, after the date tracker’s computer error was resolved, the CDC’s child figures overall dropped by 23.7 percent, with the total number of COVID fatalities from the start of the pandemic dropping to 1,339.
“On March 15, 2022, data on deaths were adjusted after resolving a coding logic error. This resulted in decreased death counts across all demographic categories,” a CDC spokesperson said.
The error had, in turn, caused several media outlets – such as The Guardian and The New York Post – to inadvertently utilize inaccurate statistics for articles published just last week due to information they had pulled from the CDC’s data tracker. Both papers had reported that the Omicron COVID variant in 2022 had been responsible for nearly one-third of all child deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
Since the CDC’s announcement Wednesday, The Guardian has since updated their article to reflect the new statistics reported by the CDC; while previously claiming that “As many a third of all child deaths from COVID in the US have occurred during the Omicron surge of the pandemic,” they have now revised that number to 20 percent.
This isn’t the first gaffe on the CDC’s part when it comes to COVID-related data transparency. The agency faced criticism in February after it was reported that it had been keeping large amounts of data related to COVID-19 from the American public, claiming to have done so because they feared it would be “misinterpreted,” and lead to “vaccine hesitancy.”