Throughout the pandemic, some Americans have argued that public health officials had inflated the grim COVID-19 toll by including people who’d been hospitalized or died for other reasons but also happened to be infected with the virus at the time.
That sort of overcounting was seemingly confirmed by Dr. Anthony Fauci himself recently when he confirmed that some children were being hospitalized “with COVID” rather than “because of COVID,” Newsweek reported.
That admission from Fauci is huge because those Americans who had argued similarly over the past two years have often been shouted down as uncaring monsters or censored as subversive conspiracy theorists.
Dr. Fauci, the chief White House medical advisor and long-serving head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), made those remarks Wednesday evening during an appearance on MSNBC.
They came as part of a discussion of the more transmissible but less severe Omicron variant of COVID-19 currently sweeping across the nation that has led to an uptick in reported positive cases for children.
“The other important thing is that if you look at the children who are hospitalized many of them are hospitalized with COVID as opposed to because of COVID,” Fauci said.
“So it’s overcounting”
“And what we mean by that is that if a child goes in the hospital they automatically get tested for COVID and they get counted as a COVID hospitalized individual, when in fact they may go in for a broken leg or appendicitis or something like that,” he continued.
“So it’s overcounting the number of children who are, quote, ‘hospitalized’ with COVID as opposed to because of COVID,” Fauci added.
FAUCI: “If you look at the children that are hospitalized, many of them are hospitalized with COVID, as opposed to because of COVID…if a child goes into the hospital, they automatically get tested for COVID & they get counted as a COVID hospitalized individual.” pic.twitter.com/1aGXkix0be
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) December 31, 2021
Fauci also went on to say during the interview that the focus should shift away from mere positive case counts and instead concentrate more on the numbers of those with a severe enough infection to warrant hospitalization or death — something else that many Americans have urged over the past two years but been ignored.
Change in pandemic messaging
Fox News reported that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a frequent critic of Dr. Fauci, shared a clip of those remarks on Twitter and noted, “Now Fauci says this? Is this because pandemic politics have changed for the Biden admin?”
The senator was likely referencing a subtle but noticeable shift in messaging on COVID-19 from the White House, exemplified by President Joe Biden’s recent stunning admission that there was “no federal solution” for the pandemic, and that it “gets solved at a state-level” — pretty much the opposite of what he campaigned on in the 2020 election.