Media Outlets’ Poor Framing of Breakthrough Cases in Vaccinated People

Michael Luciano, Mediaite:

“Breakthrough Covid cases are on the rise among the vaccinated,” blares a headline on an NBC News article published Friday.

However, as the sub-headline points out, “The 125,682 ‘breakthrough’ cases in 38 states represent less than .08 percent of the 164.2 million-plus people fully vaccinated since January.”

Only about half of Americans are vaccinated against Covid-19, as federal, state, and local governments have struggled to convince large swaths of the public to get the shot. Yet, that is the headline NBC News chose.

I do not much like articles that are mostly collections of tweets, but it is both heartening and worrying to see the number of Twitter users doing a better job of contextualizing breakthrough cases than the press. Twitter is not designed for the nuance required to discuss a pandemic — that’s the job of news outlets, which have been casually minimizing the efficacy of vaccinations with headlines like those from NBC News and the Washington Post. This needs to stop.