FACT CHECK: McAuliffe Spreads COVID Misinformation at Candidate Forum

FACT CHECK: McAuliffe Spreads COVID Misinformation at Candidate Forum

"We in Virginia today, 1,142 children are in ICU beds," McAuliffe stated during a roundtable discussion with local reporters. The statistic is a massive overestimation. Virginia Department of Health statistics show that there are a total of 443 people of all ages currently in ICU beds, a fraction of the figure McAuliffe put forth for children.

The state database shows the number of Virginians in ICU beds infected with COVID-19 has never come close to 1,142 since the first hospitalizations in March 2020—the peak of individuals hospitalized in the ICU with COVID-19 was on Jan. 13, when there were 587 cases. State records show that just 1,094 individuals younger than 19 years old have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. Children, who rarely get seriously ill from the virus, have never made up a significant chunk of hospitalized individuals.

McAuliffe also said during the roundtable Virginia had "8,000 cases on Monday," another exaggerated statistic. On Monday, Oct. 4, Virginia saw 1,220 "confirmed" cases and 864 "probable" cases, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

The state has never seen 8,000 confirmed cases in a day. According to the department, Virginia's 7-day moving case average Peaked at 5,904 on Jan. 8, 2021—a number thousands short of McAuliffe's case assessment.

McAuliffe's campaign did not respond to a request for comment on his claims.
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