The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Friday in challenges to President Joe Biden’s mandate that would require COVID-19 testing and vaccine requirements for large businesses. At one point during the hearing, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who participated remotely, commented on how the most recent COVID-19 variant is affecting children, saying: “We have over 100,000 children, which we have never had before, in serious condition, and many on ventilators.”
This is a false statement.
While Rochelle Walensky, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, did note at a press briefing on Friday that with the omicron variant, children are being hospitalized “at the highest rate compared to any other point in the pandemic,” there’s still no evidence to support Sotomayor’s claim.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 82,843 children ages 0-17 admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 since August 1, 2020. It’s important to point out two things, though. This figure does not make a distinction between children admitted to the hospital because of COVID-19 and children admitted to the hospital who also tested positive for COVID-19. Secondly, this number accounts for hospitalizations over the course of almost a year and half.