Terry McAuliffe, the former Virginia governor (2014-18) who is in a dogfight with Republican Glenn Youngkin to become the state’s next governor, has been playing fast and loose with COVID case numbers and hospitalization figures, including pediatric numbers that are completely false.
And it’s not just Republicans who have a real problem with the figures McAuliffe has been floating during campaign stops. The Washington Post noted how McAuliffe stated on October 7 that there were 1,142 children in Virginia ICU units with COVID. The real number, according to the Post, was 35.
It would be one thing to say that number once, acknowledge you misspoke, and then correct your mistake. It’s another to keep repeating the claim. The paper says the Democratic nominee has repeated the pediatric ICU number twice over the last two weeks. As of October 22, Virginia has had 952 children hospitalized with COVID since March 2020.
Here’s McAuliffe throwing out his 1,142 figure at a candidate forum in early October.
Here are the pediatric COVID cases straight from the Virginia Department of Health:
“In speaking about the threat of the coronavirus to the state, McAuliffe frequently touts numbers — often wrong numbers about the impact on children,” The Post says. “When we first queried the McAuliffe campaign about his figures, we were told it was a slip of the tongue. Okay, we understand that, and so we passed on a fact check. But then his tongue kept slipping.”
OK, so the October 7 incident was a possible slip of the tongue. Then what happened on October 21? The Post reports the former governor used the line, “We’ve just 1,142 children in serious, in hospitals, in ICU beds” during a campaign event.
And on Oct. 13, McAuliffe was quoted as saying “Today, 1,100 children are in hospitals here in Virginia.”
And on Oct. 23 during a stop with Obama, McAuliffe once again went to his talking point. “Here in Virginia, you should understand, 1,142 of our children have been in hospitals because they got covid,” he said.
As noted above, 952 children have been hospitalized with COVID since March 2020. Why is McAuliffe focused on that number and bringing it up time after time? Why do you think? Because it’s dramatic, not true, and paints a bleak picture for suburban moms who think their children will be the next ones to go into the ICU if Uncle Terry isn’t voted into office.