- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 9, 2022

A top Biden administration health official on Sunday contradicted Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s claim about the number of kids seriously ill with COVID-19.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, disputed Justice Sotomayor‘s claim on Friday that 100,000 kids were in serious condition and many were on ventilators as a result of the omicron variant.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky contradicted the liberal justice’s claims Sunday following repeated questions by Fox News’ Bret Baier. 

Mr. Baier first asked if the number of pediatric hospitalizations was actually 3,500 instead of 100,000. Dr. Walensky answered “yeah” and quickly pivoted to talking about the plight of unvaccinated children. 

“Understood, but the number is not 100,000 [children], it’s roughly 3,500 in hospitals now,” interjected Mr. Baier. 



“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,” Dr. Walensky on “Fox News Sunday.” 

Dr. Walensky also said she did not know the number of children on ventilators. 

Asked if she felt a responsibility to correct a Supreme Court justice, Dr. Walensky did not directly answer and said her job is to provide guidance and recommendations, which include vaccinations for children older than 5 years old.

Justice Sotomayor made her claim about 100,000 children suffering from COVID during Friday’s oral arguments in a case on determining whether the Biden administration can deploy workplace vaccine mandates. 

“We have hospitals that are almost at full capacity with people severely ill on ventilators,” said Justice Sotomayor, according to the high court’s transcript. “We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in serious condition and many on ventilators.”

Justice Sotomayor‘s assertion was quickly challenged on Friday as false by the Poynter Institute’s fact checkers and mocked by Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican.

“Is Fauci advising Justice Sotomayor?” Mr. Paul tweeted. “Will YouTube censor her?”

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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