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Supreme Court revises transcript incorrectly reporting conservative justice's claim

"The flu kills, I believe, hundreds, thousands of people every year" was Gorsuch's actual statement.

January 10, 2022 4:30pm

Updated: January 10, 2022 4:36pm

The Supreme Court revised Friday's transcript for oral arguments on the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate after originally incorrectly reporting that Justice Neil Gorsuch claimed influenza kills "hundreds of thousands" each year.

Gorsuch's mistakenly reported statement comes while Justice Sonia Sotomayor is facing criticism for falsely saying on Friday: "We have over 100,000 children, which we've never had before, in -- in serious condition and many on ventilators." 

Forbes reports the court revised its transcript Monday to reflect Gorsuch's actual statement: "The flu kills, I believe, hundreds, thousands of people every year."

The conservative justice mentioned flu deaths while questioning Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, who argued in support of the federal COVID-19 mandate instituting a vaccine-or-test requirement on private businesses with more than 100 employees.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the flu has killed between 12,000 and 52,000 people annually from 2010 to 2020.

The Washington Post fact checker called Sotomayor's claim on childhood hospitalizations "off the rails" and "wildly incorrect." The 7-day average for children who have been admitted to the hospital and are COVID positive stands at 830, according to the CDC. Since August 1, 2020, 85,369 children ages 17 and under have been admitted to the hospital with COVID.