White House declines to call out COVID-19 misinformation from Supreme Court

The White House twice declined to weigh in on COVID-19 misinformation from liberal justices of the Supreme Court in oral arguments over the administration's vaccine mandate.

Misinformation about the virus has repeatedly been called out from the podium in the White House briefing room, with politicians, media figures, and social media platforms all facing criticism for spreading erroneous claims. White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked if she would extend this critique to Justice Sonia Sotomayor and other jurists.

"Well, I'm not going to speak to Supreme Court arguments," Psaki replied when asked about Sotomayor's comment that 100,000 children are in serious condition due to the coronavirus.


A second reporter asked Psaki whether she was concerned that Sotomayor's comment that the omicron variant is as deady as earlier strains suggested that misinformation had spread to the Supreme Court, noting the surgeon general had warned from the briefing room that faulty information is a public health danger.

"I'm just not going to weigh in on a specific legal argument made in the court," Psaki responded.

During arguments over the constitutionality of the Biden administration's vaccination or testing rule for large private employers, Sotomayor said that thousands of children were seriously ill with COVID, "many" of them on ventilators. Other justices exaggerated the vaccine's ability to halt the spread of the virus, especially the current variant.

The Supreme Court revised its transcript of the oral arguments after conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch was widely quoted as saying "hundreds of thousands" of people die of the flu each year.

Sotomayor was nominated by former President Barack Obama, Gorsuch by former President Donald Trump.

Psaki reiterated that the White House is "confident" in the legality of the vaccine rule.


President Joe Biden warned in a speech before Christmas that the unvaccinated were due for a winter of "severe illness and death" due to rising COVID-19 cases. He has previously called the outbreak a "pandemic of the unvaccinated" and clashed with Republican governors over COVID-19 protocols.

Biden has come under fire for his handling of the outbreak, which was previously a strong point of his in public opinion polls.

Original Location: White House declines to call out COVID-19 misinformation from Supreme Court


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