Don’t Know, or Won’t Say, How Many Omicron Hospitalizations?

by Carol J. Bova

The most recent Virginia Department of Health (VDH) information on the number of COVID-19 infections in vaccinated people dates from December 25, 2021. Statewide weekly total case numbers go through January 1, 2022.

The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) gives total hospitalizations and ICU numbers for confirmed and pending tests as of January 9, but doesn’t differentiate between Omicron and other forms of Covid.

Bret Baier, on Fox News Sunday, January 9th, interviewed several people about the Supreme Court session on Covid vaccine mandates and Covid information. He included an audio clip of an incorrect statement by Justice Sonia Sotomayor: “We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in serious condition and many on ventilators.”

He then asked Centers for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky if it were true that “there are fewer than 3,500 current pediatric hospitalizations from COVID-19.”

Walensky sidestepped and said that the majority of hospitalized children were unvaccinated. Baier said, “Understood, but the number is not 100,000. It’s roughly 3,500 in hospitals now.”

Walensky admitted. “Yes, there are,” and continued on about the rate of hospitalizations and vaccinations. She avoided discussing the fact that vaccinated people are getting Omicron and, at one point, claimed, “People who are vaccinated are still protected about 70% against infection, especially if they are boosted.”

That would be a good thing to know — if it’s true — but there’s no public information to document the claim. Knowing whether people in the hospital testing positive were admitted for COVID or something else would be another good bit of information to have.

Walensky said, “In some hospitals that we talked to, up to 40% of the patients who are coming in with COVID are coming in not because they’re sick with COVID, but because they are coming with something else and have COVID or the omicron variant detected.”

Baier asked, “But I guess you know how many of the 836,000 deaths in the U.S. linked to COVID are from COVID. or how many are with COVID, but they have other comorbidities, do you have that breakdown?”

Walensky: “Yes of course, with Omicron we’re following that very carefully. Our death registry, of course, takes a few weeks to collect, and of course, Omicron has just been with us for a few weeks, but those data will be forthcoming.”

So VDH doesn’t know, or isn’t telling, and the CDC doesn’t know and won’t know for some time yet how many people have been admitted FOR Covid and how many WITH Covid, and how many died FROM Covid.

Is it any wonder so many people don’t trust what the CDC and VDH say? More honest and accurate reporting would go a long way toward restoring trust.