WASHINGTON (TND) — Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor inaccurately claimed "over 100,000 children" are "in serious condition" due to COVID-19, sparking an outcry from critics accusing the Obama-appointed justice of spreading misinformation.
The comment came during this week's oral arguments for the Biden administration's controversial vaccination rule for private employees, which would force businesses with more than 100 employees to place a vaccine mandate on their workers or require them to be tested weekly.
"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, many on ventilators," Justice Sotomayor said.
The CDC's COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network, which covers roughly 10% of the U.S. population, reports only 140 hospitalized children during the most recent reporting week, representing 7.3% of all counted hospitalizations.
More than 4,000 children were hospitalized due to COVID-19 nationwide earlier this week, according to the Washington Post. That figure represents a record for child hospitalization due to COVID-19, but is still a far cry from Justice Sotomayor's claim.
Justice Sotomayor's comment drew quick backlash from critics on social media who lambasted the traditionally left-leaning justice for spreading inaccurate information about the state of the pandemic.
PolitiFact, a fact-checking website often accused of political bias, ranked Sotomayor's comment "false" in a fact-check published on Friday.
Several news networks, including CBS and ABC, have come under fire for allegedly failing to mention Sotomayor's comments during nightly news coverage Friday evening.
Sotomayor has also been blasted for claiming "Omicron is as deadly as Delta," which seems to conflict with leading scientific consensus, including from Chief Medical Advisor to the President Dr. Anthony Fauci.
In addition to outrage about the false information itself, various conservative commentators have raised concerns about the ramifications of a Supreme Court justice making such an inaccurate statement.