On the January 25 edition of America’s Newsroom, Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer said that new COVID-19 cases are “down 33% on the 24th of January, which is yesterday. [But] we were told it’s going the other way.” Hemmer was referring to experts’ warnings that there’ll be a significant increase in cases after the 2020 holiday season. Fox senior medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel blamed “fearmongering” for the alleged discrepancy. Except a post-holiday spike did happen, and the current decrease in cases is a decrease from record hospitalizations and deaths in the first half of January.
Contrary to Hemmer and Siegel’s complaints that “we [were] told one thing and the opposite happened,” U.S. hospitals “averaged more than 130,000 covid-19 patients a day over seven days this month, far exceeding summer and spring surges,” according to The Washington Post. “The death toll from cases contracted before and after the holidays will stretch into February. Authorities reported nearly 4,500 deaths Wednesday, a new single-day record.”
The Post further reported that although some dire, pre-holiday predictions of rationed health care and hospital worker shortages did not occur, and hospitalizations have begun to stabilize, “they do so from record heights” and record deaths, and medical leaders are concerned that the current “plateau” in these figures may not last. It’s true that “the holiday season dealt less damage than expected,” but the damage was still significant -- damage which Hemmer and Siegel erased to make misleading attacks against COVID-19 science.