Following what appears to have been a rare moment of self-examination, one of Denmark’s highest-circulating newspapers has issued a mea culpa to the public on behalf of the Fourth Estate, saying that ‘journalists’—instead of rigorously and inquisitively covering the pandemic—have born greater resemblance to official government mouth pieces.
In an editorial piece titled “We Failed,” Ekstra Bladet, a traditionally center-left Danish tabloid newspaper that’s been in circulation since 1904, confessed that the publication—along with the wider mainstream liberal press—hadn’t been “vigilant enough” in questioning narratives put forward by government authorities, the Irish news outlet Gript reports.
“For almost two years, we—the press and the population—have been almost hypnotically preoccupied with the authorities’ daily coronavirus tally,” the piece begins, adding that the incessant alertness brought on by repeated warnings of the “dormant corona monster under our beds” had diminished the press’s ability to adequately question government narratives.
“That is why we—the press—must also take stock of our own efforts. And we have failed.”
“We have not been vigilant enough at the garden gate when the authorities were required to answer what it actually meant that people are hospitalized with coronavirus and not because of coronavirus,” the piece’s author writes, accusing the Danish press of failing to question hospital admission statistics, which appear to show a sizeable portion of the country’s COVID-19 hospitalizations were incidental—meaning patients recorded as ‘hospitalized’ for COVID-19 were admitted for other reasons.
Weichardt, the author of the piece, then offered a scathing review of the pandemic messaging adopted by the Danish government and mainstream press:
The vaccines are consistently referred to as our ‘superweapon.’ And our hospitals are called ‘super hospitals.’ Nevertheless, these super-hospitals are apparently maximally pressured, even though almost the entire population is armed with a super-weapon. Even children have been vaccinated on a huge scale, which has not been done in our neighboring countries.
In other words, there is something here that does not deserve the term ‘super.’ Whether it’s the vaccines, the hospitals, or a mixture of it all, is every man’s bid. But at least the authorities’ communication to the population in no way deserves the term ‘super.’ On the contrary.
The editorial comes as Western governments, seemingly in lockstep with one another, have shifted their messaging regarding COVID-19 hospitalizations. Several days ago, Danish health authorities recognized that 23% of patients admitted to Danish hospitals last December with COVID-19 were admitted due to a diagnosis other than the virus.
State health officials in the Anglosphere, including the United States, Candana, Australia, and the United Kingdom have also begun acknowledging the inflated hospitalization figures. Weeks ago, Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers in the United Kingdom, announced that so-called ‘incidental’ COVID-19 cases made up some 25 to 30% of hospital admissions.
Robert Semonsen is a political journalist based in Central Europe. His work has been featured in various English-language news outlets in Europe and the Americas. He has an educational background in biological and medical science. His Twitter handle is @R_Semonsen.