Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services revealed that 1,902 pediatric coronavirus hospitalizations were reported on Saturday, as the highly contagious delta variant has caused a surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the country. Kids currently account for 2.4 percent of hospitalizations in the United States, and the inability of children under the age of 12 to receive the vaccine continues to leave them at greater risk of infection.
The rise in children hospitalized in the U.S. comes at a time where high-ranking government officials for the two of the states with the highest number of new daily cases have fought to prevent masks from being worn in the classroom.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has threatened to pull funding to schools, and withhold the salaries of school officials, if they defy his anti-mask agenda. Even as cases were rising months ago, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order that prohibited school districts from requiring mask-wearing.
Texas and Florida have the two highest pediatric hospitalizations with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, with 311 and 204, respectively. Florida also has a fifth of COVID-19-related hospitalizations in the country, and the Sunshine State shows no signs of slowing down, judging from Saturday’s total of 16,100, which is a new record. HHS data reveals that the increasingly staggering sum may soon become too much for the state to handle as more than 90 percent of ICU beds are being filled.