Far-Left Atlantic Admits Coronavirus Hospitalizations Misleading: Roughly Half Not Due to Infection or Severe Illness

A patient is wheeled out of Elmhurst Hospital Center to a waiting ambulance, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York, during the current coronavirus outbreak. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last week that as city hospitals fill up, some patients could be moved to other …
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

The far-left Atlantic, owned by leftist billionaire and widow of Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell Jobs,  admitted in a Monday piece the dramatic reporting on coronavirus hospitalizations may be misleading, given it does not account for the severity of the illness of those hospitalized, nor does it specifically identify if individuals are actually hospitalized for another reason.

Federal health officials have been in overdrive as President Joe Biden has pitted the masses against each other, scolding unvaccinated Americans for refusing to get the shot.

“While the vaccines provide strong protections for the vaccinated, we read about, we hear about, and we see the stories of hospitalized people, people on their death beds, among the unvaccinated over these past few weeks,” Biden said during a speech last week, deeming it the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” and warning that “patience is running thin.”

However, the Atlantic admits the hospitalization number is “losing meaning” as the number of individuals hospitalized with the virus jumps back to the figures seen earlier this year. While the left-wing outlet identified hospitalizations as a “vital metric” for tracking the severity and risk of the illness, it noted a recently released study of hospitalization records that puts a different spin on the figures.

LEONARDTOWN, MARYLAND - MAY 01: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) A member of the dialysis prepares to treat a patient with coronavirus in the intensive care unit at a hospital on May 1, 2020 in Leonardtown, Maryland. The coronavirus death toll in D.C., Virginia and Maryland surpassed 2,000 people on Friday as the District recorded its largest number of daily infections thus far. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

A member of the dialysis prepares to treat a patient with coronavirus in the intensive care unit at a hospital in Leonardtown, Maryland.  (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Ultimately, hospitalization numbers do not indicate the severity of the illness. While some patients require intensive care, that is far from the case for all of them who are hospitalized. In fact, some of the individuals are hospitalized for other reasons entirely, only to later discover that they happen to have the coronavirus as well.

Emphasis added:

Some patients need extensive medical intervention, such as getting intubated. Others require supplemental oxygen or administration of the steroid dexamethasone. But there are many COVID patients in the hospital with fairly mild symptoms, too, who have been admitted for further observation on account of their comorbidities, or because they reported feeling short of breath. Another portion of the patients in this tally are in the hospital for something unrelated to COVID, and discovered that they were infected only because they were tested upon admission. How many patients fall into each category has been a topic of much speculation. In August, researchers from Harvard Medical School, Tufts Medical Center, and the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System decided to find out.

“Researchers have tried to get at similar questions before,” the outlet continued, citing another study published in May by California doctors who tried to identify why children who tested positive for the coronavirus were hospitalized. According to the outlet, researchers found 40 to 45 percent were hospitalized for reasons unrelated to the virus.

Authors of the recent study attempted to get similar answers for hospitalized adults and ultimately found that “roughly half” of those hospitalized for the coronavirus in 2021 “may have been admitted for another reason entirely, or had only a mild presentation of disease.”

According to the outlet:

The authors of the paper out this week took a different tack to answer a similar question, this time for adults. Instead of meticulously looking at why a few hundred patients were admitted to a pair of hospitals, they analyzed the electronic records for nearly 50,000 COVID hospital admissions at the more than 100 VA hospitals across the country. Then they checked to see whether each patient required supplemental oxygen or had a blood oxygen level below 94 percent. (The latter criterion is based on the National Institutes of Health definition of “severe COVID.”) If either of these conditions was met, the authors classified that patient as having moderate to severe disease; otherwise, the case was considered mild or asymptomatic.

The study found that from March 2020 through early January 2021—before vaccination was widespread, and before the Delta variant had arrived—the proportion of patients with mild or asymptomatic disease was 36 percent. From mid-January through the end of June 2021, however, that number rose to 48 percent. In other words, the study suggests that roughly half of all the hospitalized patients showing up on COVID-data dashboards in 2021 may have been admitted for another reason entirely, or had only a mild presentation of disease.

What is more, the study found that unvaccinated patients going to the hospital, a primary talking point for Biden’s administration, had been showing less severe symptoms as well, although vaccinated patients were more likely to show mild or no symptoms.

According to the study, “the proportion of inpatients with moderate to severe disease at any time during their hospitalization as defined by any documentation of SpO2 <94% or receipt of any supplemental oxygen fell from 64% early in the pandemic to 52% (43% in vaccinated and 55% in unvaccinated patients) by the end of June 2021.”

HOUSTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 18: Emergency Room nurses and EMTs tend to patients in hallways at the Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital on August 18, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Across Houston, hospitals have been forced to treat hundreds of patients in hallways and corridors as their emergency rooms are being overwhelmed due to the sharp increase in Delta variant cases. Hospitals are straining to keep up with the surge of new coronavirus patients as schools and businesses continue to reopen. Houston has seen an upward increase in Delta infections, and research is showing the Delta variant to be 60% more contagious than its predecessor the Alpha variant, also known as COVID-19. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Emergency Room nurses and EMTs tend to patients in hallways at the Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital on August 18, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Across Houston, hospitals have been forced to treat hundreds of patients in hallways and corridors as their emergency rooms are being overwhelmed due to the sharp increase in Delta variant cases. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Because of this, the study added that “consideration should be given to updating the case definition of COVID-19 hospitalizations to better reflect cases of hospitalization caused by COVID-19 versus hospitalizations associated with detection of SARS-CoV-2.”

The admission from Jobs’s publication, specifically, is significant, as it recently ran a piece arguing that unvaccinated individuals should be placed on no-fly lists. Notably, the billionaire has the option to fly on a private jet virtually any time she chooses.

Additionally, last month, the far-left Atlantic highlighted doctors who do not want to treat unvaccinated people and who are “struggling to sympathize with people who won’t protect themselves.”

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