Liberals and members of the media rushed to attack Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, falsely accusing him of saying the flu kills “hundreds of thousands” of people every year.
During Friday’s SCOTUS hearing on the case challenging the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate, Gorsuch made the point that vaccines for other diseases were never mandated by the government and how OSHA has never required one for the flu, which the justice pointed out kills “hundreds, thousands of people every year.”
However, the remark was perceived by Gorsuch’s critics as him saying the flu is far more deadly than it actually was.
“Gorsuch: ‘the flu kills hundreds of thousands of people every year’ NO IT DOES NOT. STOP GETTING YOUR MEDICAL STATS FROM FOX NEWS,” The Nation justice correspondent Elie Mystal wrote in a viral tweet.
“The flu kills about 30,000 Americans each year. I’m kinda surprised Gorsuch would broadcast his ignorance like this. I looked this up with help from Google in about 10 seconds,” former Vox journalist Aaron Rupar tweeted.
Newsweek ran a report on the backlash Gorsuch received, quoting Mystal and Rupar, running the headline, “Justice Neil Gorsuch Slammed After He Suggests Flu Kills ‘Hundreds of Thousands’ Each Year.” Outlets like The Guardian and Daily Kos also misquoted the associate justice.
However, the official transcript was revised Monday, swapping “hundreds of thousands” to “hundreds, thousands.”
Newsweek senior reporter James Lemon issued an apology to Gorsuch and “significantly adjusted” his article and denied he has any political animus.
“To those who have said I’m antagonistic toward Gorsuch because he is a conservative, that is completely false. Again, I apologize to him for misrepresenting what he actually said,” Lemon wrote. “Tbh, I actually regularly speak favorably of Gorsuch in private conversations. I will personally always admire and appreciate Gorsuch because of the majority opinion he wrote in the landmark July 2020 SCOTUS ruling regarding LGBTQ rights. So, believe me, I don’t have personal animosity towards him.”
Newsweek’s headline was changed to, “Neil Gorsuch Takes Unwarranted Heat as Transcription Flub Suggests He Overstated Flu Deaths.”
Mystal, on the other hand, wasn’t as nearly apologetic.
“Soo… that actual argument from Republicans today is that Gorsuch didn’t say ‘hundreds of thousands’ of flu deaths (which is wrong) but said ‘hundreds, thousands’ of flu deaths (WHICH IS ALSO WRONG),” Mystal tweeted Monday. “* If Gorsuch think the flu killing hundreds of thousands of people (which it doesn’t) means we should ignore Covid (which does) he’s wrong. If Gorsuch thinks the full killing hundreds of people (which it doesn’t) means we should ignore Covid (which has killed 800K) he’s wrong.”
He added, “To believe that Gorsuch said or meant to say ‘hundreds thousands’ instead of “hundreds of thousands” then you have to believe his argument was ‘The flu kills vastly fewer people than Covid and we don’t require flu shots so we shouldn’t require vaccines against the deadlier thing’ WHICH WOULD BE AN EVEN DUMBER ARGUMENT THAN THE DUMB AND FACTUALLY INCORRECT POINT HE WAS TRYING TO MAKE.”
Rupar previously acknowledged on Saturday that there was a discrepancy of what Gorsuch actually said, but wrote “Either way, there’s no equivalence between the harm caused by the flu, which kills about 30k Americans a year, and Covid, which has killed well over 800k in two years. So regardless of what Gorsuch meant to say, he’s not making a good point.”
Coincidentally, Rupar did knock other media outlets in a Substack piece published Monday titled, “A big weekend for political journalism blunders.”