CDC Director Rochelle Walensky corrected, but refrained from criticizing Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor after she misrepresented COVID-19 pediatric hospitalization data. Walensky focused her attention on pushing Americans to vaccinate themselves and their children.
Baier began by noting that Sotomayor falsely claimed Friday that 100,000 children were not only hospitalized but in serious condition from COVID-19 complications.
“We have hospitals that are almost at full capacity with people severely ill on ventilators. We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in serious condition, and many on ventilators,” Sotomayor said. (RELATED: NYT Issues Major Correction After Claiming 900,000 Kids Have Been Hospitalized With COVID)
“Here’s what I can tell you about our pediatric hospitalizations now,” Walensky responded. “First of all, the vast majority of children who are in the hospital are unvaccinated. And for those children who are not eligible for vaccination, we do know that they are most likely to get sick with COVID if their family members aren’t vaccinated. So the most important thing we can do for those children to keep them out of the hospital is to vaccinate them and their family members around them,” she told Bret Baier on “Fox News Sunday.”
Data shows that the actual number of pediatric hospitalizations is less than 3,500, a fact confirmed by Walensky when Baier asked her for verification. When asked about children on ventilators, though, Walensky stated that she “did not have that number off the top of [her] head.”
While Baier wanted to focus on Sotomayor’s egregious exaggeration, Walensky continued her push for vaccines, stating, “I don’t believe there are many in any of these hospitals who are vaccinated. So really the highest risk of being on a ventilator if you’re a child is if you’re unvaccinated.” (RELATED: Fauci Admits Many Children Hospitalized With COVID-19 Aren’t There Because Of The Virus)
When asked whether it was true that the risk of death or serious illness from COVID-19 was small in children, Walensky conceded that the risk was small, though continued to push the importance of vaccinations.
Baier, however, continued to press Walensky, reminding her that CDC data showed risk of death at 0.0001% for ages 15-24. “I guess what I’m getting at,” he stated, “is that the Supreme Court is in the process of dealing with this big issue about mandates, and do you feel a responsibility as the CDC director to correct a very big mischaracterization by one of the Supreme Court justices?”
Walensky deflected, stating, “Here’s what I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you that right now 17 — if you’re unvaccinated, you’re 17 times more likely to be in the hospital and 20 times more likely to die than if you’re boosted. So what my responsibility is, is to provide guidance and recommendations to protect the American people. Those recommendations strongly recommend vaccination for our children above the age of 5 — age of 5 and boosting for everyone above the age of 18 if they’re eligible.”
Sotomayor’s comments came as the Court heard arguments on the Biden administration’s employer vaccine mandate, which states that businesses with 100 or more employees must require COVID-19 vaccinations for all workers and weekly testing for those workers who do not get vaccinated.