Fox News hosts confront CDC director over Sotomayor’s claim of children suffering from COVID

Fox News anchor Brett Baer on Sunday confronted Rochelle Valensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about children hospitalized with COVID-19 during a hearing this week by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. urged to counter false claims.

The nation’s top court on Friday heard arguments in favor and against President Joe Biden’s mandate that major US companies require or conduct routine tests to ensure employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 that they do not have the novel coronavirus. While conservative judges were skeptical of the mandate, liberal judges—including Sotomayor—appeared pro.

Sotomayor faced significant criticism, however, when he wrongly claimed that
“More than 100,000 children” were seriously ill with COVID-19, “many were on ventilators.” Government data actually showed as of January 8 that only a few thousand children had been hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 – as some waited for lab test results.

Bayer, hosting Fox News Sunday, confronted Valensky with Sotomayor’s misrepresentation and urged him to fact-check the misinformation.

“What we could find from Friday suggests there are fewer than 3,500 current pediatric hospitals with COVID-19. Is that true?” Baird asked the CDC director.

In this screenshot, Fox News Sunday host Brett Baer interviews CDC Director Rochelle Valensky about COVID-19 and the pandemic. He pressed on Sunday about Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor exaggerating the number of children seriously ill with COVID in the US.
Fox News Sunday / Screenshot

Valensky agreed to point out that the majority of hospitalized children have not been vaccinated, before quickly shifting the topic. “The majority of children in hospital are not vaccinated, and for children who do not qualify for vaccination, we know that if their family members are not vaccinated, they are most likely to become ill with COVID-19. More likely,” she said. ,

CDC director urges parents to get their kids vaccinated before Bayer reiterates his point

“Understood, but the number is not 100,000. Right now it’s about 3,500 in hospitals,” he said.

“It is—yes, there are—and indeed what I would say, while pediatric hospitals are on the rise, hospitalizations are still about 15 times lower than the hospitalizations of our older age demographic,” replied Valensky.

Baird then asked if she knew specifically how many children are currently on ventilators due to COVID-19.

“Not off the top of my head, but… I don’t believe many of these hospitals have been vaccinated. So, really, the highest risk of being on a ventilator if your child is if you don’t get vaccinated. are,” she replied.

Later in the interview, the Fox News anchor reiterated his concern over Sotomayor’s misrepresentation. “And do you, as CDC director, feel a responsibility to correct a huge misdemeanor by one of the Supreme Court justices?” He asked.

“Yeah, here’s what I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you that, right now, 17—if you don’t get vaccinated, you’re 17 times more likely to be in the hospital and 20 times more likely to die. You’ve got a boost, Valensky replied. “And so, what my responsibility is, is to provide guidance and recommendations to protect the American people. Those recommendations strongly recommend vaccination for our children over the age of 5 and for everyone over the age of 18.” recommend if they are eligible.”

As Washington Post reported, as of August 1, 2020, just under 83,000 children have been hospitalized in the US due to the novel coronavirus. CDC data shows that as of January 6, some 823 children (ages 0 to 18) have died of COVID-19.

COVID vaccines have not yet been approved for children under the age of 5, as of January 7, data compiled by the new York Times showed that 66 percent of children aged 5 to 11 years have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Among children ages 12 to 17, about 71 percent received both doses of the vaccine.