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Tennessee Commissioner of Health Says All Pediatric Hospitals Will Fill with COVID Patients


Despite the fact that only 23 people under the age of 20 are currently hospitalized in the state of Tennessee with COVID-19, the state’s health director is scaremongering, telling reporters that all of the pediatric hospitals in the state will soon be full.

Dr. Lisa Piercey said Thursday that every children’s hospital in the state will be full as children contract the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus.

“Never in my career have I seen hospitals full in the summer,” she added.

Star News Education Foundation Journalism ProjectCurrently, around 10 percent of COVID cases in the state are among children ages 10 and younger, a slight uptick from seven percent average last year. Of the hospitalized youth, only five hospitalized patients are under the age of 10. Seventeen patients are under the age of 20. Those numbers are not even the highest on record.

All told, according to August 4 data from the Tennessee Department of Health (DOH), headed by Piercey, only 12 people under the age of 20 have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Six of those people were under the age of 10, and six were between age 11 and 20.

“Hospitals are seeing a rise in pediatric cases as well as respiratory illness we don’t normally see this time of year,” said Sarah Tanksley, a spokeswoman for the DOH.

Other than that, there has been no explanation from public health officials about the grim prediction made by Piercey.

Scientists are still parsing through whether the delta variant is more contagious or deadly than the COVID-19 strains America has faced already.

What is certain is that the vaccine does not stop the contraction or spread of the delta variant. Early data suggests that it reduces the risk of hospitalization and death.

But the vaccine, which is only approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use, is not approved at all for children under the age of 12.

That didn’t stop Alan Levine, CEO of Ballad Health hospitals in Northeast Tennessee from adding to the COVID-19 hysteria on Twitter.

“And children have already died, and others are on ventilators, and ALL OF IT is preventable. So is what’s coming,” he said in response to Piercey’s decree that all pediatric hospitals will soon be full.

It is unclear how the spread of the delta variant is “preventable,” considering that the vaccine does not stop that variant’s spread, and that it is not available to children under the age of 12.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to