Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walenksy disputed Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s claim that 100,000 children are hospitalized or seriously ill with COVID-19 during arguments made before the court on Jan. 7.
During an interview with “Fox News Sunday” on Jan. 9, Walensky confirmed that there are about 3,500 children in the hospital who have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
When asked about there being 3,500 children hospitalized as opposed to 100,000, Walensky said, “Yes, there are, and in fact what I will say is while pediatric hospitalizations are rising, they’re still about 15-fold less than hospitalizations of our older age demographics.”
The CDC director said she’s not sure how many children are on ventilators.
“In some hospitals that we’ve talked to, up to 40 percent of the patients who are coming in with COVID are coming in not because they’re sick with COVID, but because they’re coming in with something else and have had COVID or the Omicron variant detected,” Walensky said.
During the interview, she said that eligible Americans should get vaccinated.
The CDC director also reaffirmed that children have the lowest chance among all age groups of hospitalization or death from COVID-19.
“I want to remind people that in the fall of this year, we had a Delta surge, and we were able to safely keep our children in school before pediatric vaccination,” she said.
Walensky made the comment in reference to a statement made by Sotomayor amid oral arguments over the legality of the White House’s rule for private businesses with 100 or more workers that requires employees to either get the vaccine or submit to regular testing.
“We have hospitals that are almost at full capacity with people severely ill on ventilators,” Sotomayor said, according to a transcript provided by the Supreme Court. “We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in serious condition and many on ventilators.”
Over the weekend, Politifact made a post on Twitter and published an article declaring her assertion to be false. It cited CDC data as showing that about 3,500 children are hospitalized.
And in recent days, doctors around the United States have told media outlets that many children who are hospitalized aren’t there because of COVID-19.
Seattle Children’s Hospital Critical Care Chief Dr. John McGuire told The Associated Press that “most of the COVID-positive kids in the hospital are actually not here for COVID-19 disease” while noting that children “are here for other issues, but happen to have tested positive.”
New York state recently mandated that it would separate hospitalizations for COVID-19 versus those who simply tested positive for the disease, according to Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul. On Jan. 8, her office said that about 43 percent of the 11,548 hospitalized patients didn’t have COVID-19 listed as one of the reasons for admission.