Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH) Dr. Anthony Fauci recently claimed that the U.S. has lost more children to the COVID-19 virus than the flu.
“So even though regularly speaking, compared to an adult, [children] do not get as seriously ill, we have lost more children from SARS- CoV2 than we ever lose from influenza,” he said. “And we vaccinate children against influenza.”
Is this statement accurate?
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the NIH
False. Completely make believe.
In four of the last eight flu seasons, CDC’s own estimates show more pediatric deaths (ages 0-17) from the flu than we’ve seen among kids with COVID from the start in January 2020 to September 2021. Estimated deaths per one million per week are .07 for COVID-19, which is equal to or less than the estimated deaths in almost all the previous flu seasons since April 2009.
While children have thankfully been largely spared from the worst outcomes of COVID-19, there is still risk. As Dr. Lee Beers, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said in testimony before Congress,
“As of September 16, more than 5.5 million children have been infected by the virus since the start of the pandemic, representing more than 15 percent of the total cumulative cases. Over 21,000 children have been hospitalized and 480 children have died as a result of COVID-19.
Recent CDC data shows that COVID-19–associated hospitalizations rates are 2.5–3.0 times higher than influenza-associated hospitalizations. Among deaths attributed to COVID-19, more than two-thirds of these have been in Black and Latinx children. In addition, COVID-19 is currently one of the ten leading causes of death for children in the United States.”
This analysis is reflected in a table below, designed by Emily Oster, professor of economics at Brown University and the author of three books: “Expecting Better,” “Cribsheet” and “The Family Firm.” She noted that if a child does come down with COVID-19, “First, there is about a 50% chance they’ll be totally asymptomatic (based on various things, including this French study). If they do have symptoms, in the vast majority of cases, those will be mild and short term…The most common symptoms were headache and fatigue, and the average duration of symptoms was 6 days, with 75% of children having symptoms for a week or less.”
If a child comes down with a more serious case of COVID-19, here is a table reflecting the risks for long-term symptoms, hospitalization and death compared to children with the flu or an RSV infection:
COVID-19 is not something any adult, parent or child should take lightly. However, it’s both inexplicable and irresponsible for Dr. Fauci to present false information about pediatric deaths to the public. Worse, Fauci has yet to correct himself, and probably never will.
As Guy Benson, who flagged this statement from Dr. Fauci on Twitter wrote, “We need serious, fact-based policies on COVID and kids. That’s already hard enough, amid a flood of overwrought hysteria & misinformation. It’s especially unhelpful when the most famous doctor in America makes incorrect claims overstating a (blessedly, vanishingly rare) threat.”