The drumbeat to ramp up panic over the Delta variant is getting louder. Dr. Scott Gottlieb appeared on the Sunday shows to push N95 masks for children. New CDC guidance calls for a 14-day quarantine if an elementary school child is exposed to COVID-19, which will cause significant learning disruptions. This advice is in addition to recommending masks for all students and staff regardless of vaccination status.
Now, they are ramping up coverage of children being hospitalized, suggesting that the Delta variant is more dangerous to children:
— Julia Raifman (@JuliaRaifman) August 7, 2021
There have already been studies confirming the overestimation of hospitalizations of children for COVID-19. Following studies in California, researchers concluded:
The reported number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, one of the primary metrics for tracking the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, was grossly inflated for children in California hospitals, two research papers published Wednesday concluded. The papers, both published in the journal Hospital Pediatrics, found that pediatric hospitalizations for COVID-19 were overcounted by at least 40 percent, carrying potential implications for nationwide figures.
The overcount was due to mandatory testing in the absence of symptoms. If a child had a positive test, his admission counted as a COVID-19 hospitalization. If a child came to the hospital with stomach pain and had an emergency appendectomy, he was automatically tested for the virus. If the test came back positive, the child was added to the count. A similar pattern may be happening now, accounting for some of the increase.
The U.K. and Israel are weeks ahead of us in dealing with the Delta spike. There have been no news stories from either country that I could find indicating that Delta was causing more severe illness in children. In fact, Israel published details about patients they classify as being in serious condition due to COVID-19. Of the 250 patients in this category, none are under the age of 30. There would be news stories and an uproar if they were experiencing upticks in severely ill children in either of these countries.
The COVID-19 dashboard for the U.K. shows significantly fewer deaths with the Delta variant than with the previous virus spikes in the country. Further, the current trend shows deaths of people under 60 are 0.2 per 100,000. Over the age of 60, the number is 2.8. These numbers contrast with 1.3 for those under 60 and 55.6 for those over 60 per 100,000 at the peak in January of 2020.
Peter Hotez MD, Ph.D., appeared on CNN to ring the alarm. Hotez is the same lunatic who decided that criticizing Dr. Fauci and other scientists should be a hate crime. He was talking about the increase in hospital admissions to pediatric intensive care units. In tweet number three of his rant, he gave his explanation for what we are likely seeing:
3/3 also we’re seeing lots of RSV even RSV-Covid co-infections. We’re in crisis mode and must do the following now: 1) mask mandates for schools, 2) vaccine mandates for schools, 12 and up, and 3) EUA for vaccines for school aged kids, 5-11. That’s the reality if you want school
— Prof Peter Hotez MD PhD (@PeterHotez) August 7, 2021
Hotez’s entire career has been focused on vaccine development, and the NIH has funded him since 1992. It is not surprising that he wants to jab kids who rarely suffer from serious illness from COVID-19 by rushing approval to do so. However, at least he is honest enough to bring up respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) as a cause of severe disease in children.
Hospitalizations of young, otherwise healthy young children are almost certainly RSV-related. If they also test positive for COVID-19, it is probably incidental. RSV behaves in precisely the reverse way that COVID-19 does. It can cause severe illness, inflammation of the small airways, and pneumonia the first time a child is infected, which usually happens before the age of two. Subsequent infections are similar to a common cold.
COVID-19 causes severe illness in those with comorbidities such as obesity and diabetes who are 65 and older, for the most part. According to the latest provisional data from the CDC through June, 79.5% of all deaths with COVID-19 occurred in Americans over 65. By contrast, 237 children under 14 have died with COVID-19. Dr. Marty Makary from Johns Hopkins and his team evaluated many of these deaths using insurance information and found that most of the children were severely ill before contracting the virus.
Parts of the southern U.S. are seeing off-season spikes in a respiratory virus called RSV after the lifting of public health measures put into place to slow COVID-19 spread, public health experts warn.
RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is typically more active in the fall and winter. This summer spike is a “deviation” from normal, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory issued on June 10 for clinicians and health care workers.
The U.K and Australia issued similar warnings. Children who would have contracted RSV in fall and winter were isolated as the result of lockdowns, delaying infections until people began to congregate again. As a result, more children would be expected to become ill at the same time, impacting hospitalization rates. Under no circumstances should this spike be used to restrict kids or mandate vaccines for them.