Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor came under withering criticism Friday after she falsely suggested that upwards of 100,000 children in the United States are hospitalized from COVID-19, many of them on ventilators.
During oral arguments on the Biden administration's mandate on private businesses for employees to be either vaccinated or frequently tested, Sotomayor drastically overstated the number of young people who have fallen severely ill from coronavirus.
"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," she said.
While there are more children hospitalized now than at any point during the pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the seven-day average of pediatric hospitalizations was around 3,700 this week, according to the Washington Post. As with prior strains of the virus, younger people are at far less risk than old ones of severe outcomes from the coronavirus.
"Fact-checkers. Hello?" Fox News contributor Joe Concha asked in response to Sotomayor.
"Inexcusable for a SCOTUS justice to peddle this fear mongering false info," the Hudson Institute's Rebeccah Heinrichs wrote.
"It’s actually terrifying that a Supreme Court justice can be so misinformed. The emperor has no clothes," Ron DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw chimed in.
"Justice Sotomayor’s comment on 100,000 children in serious condition with covid is such a flagrantly untrue statement she should have to correct it after the argument. It’s embarrassing for the Supreme Court to allow that factual inaccuracy to occur in an oral argument," OutKick's Clay Travis tweeted.
The Supreme Court heard arguments Friday in a high-stakes public session to decide whether the U.S. government can begin enforcing sweeping COVID-19 vaccine requirements affecting nearly 100 million workers.
For three hours and 40 minutes, the justices heard oral arguments over federal vaccine and testing rules for businesses with 100 employees or more and on vaccine mandates for health care workers at facilities receiving Medicaid and Medicare funding.
Enforcement of the policies, which were announced in November, has been put on hold pending resolution in the high court.
Sotomayor was nominated by President Obama and has been on the Supreme Court since 2009.
Fox News' Brooke Singman and Bill Mears contributed to this report.