Ekstra Bledet, a major newspaper in Denmark, apologized for publicizing government-issued COVID-19 information unquestioningly rather than conducting independent investigations in an article titled “We Failed.”
Ekstra Bledet and the media in general were infatuated with daily hospitalization and death numbers and published them without skepticism, according to the article. The media’s lack of vigilance resulted in the public learning only recently that COVID-19 death counts included deaths with the virus in addition to deaths by the virus, inflating the death count by 27%.
“It makes a difference,” the article said. “A big difference.” Virus death counts drove policy decisions and public perception of the disease’s risk level, the article said, and the public accepted restrictions and government interventions based on misleading information about the dangers of the disease.
The article argued that the primary fault lies with public health authorities who should have published more accurate information on hospitalizations, vaccine efficacy and hospital capacity long ago.
Denmark became the first country in Europe to offer a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday despite warnings from EU drug regulators that there is no data to support this approach, according to Reuters. The decision sparked protests in Copenhagen, the nation’s largest city. Denmark requires vaccination or proof of COVID-19 recovery to enter churches, restaurants, nightlife and other public spaces.