'The View' hosts' most blatant COVID misinformation and panic moments

‘The View’s’ Sunny Hostin drastically overstates percentage of COVID deaths among younger people

Co-host of ABC’s "The View" Sunny Hostin drastically overstated the percentage of coronavirus deaths among younger people during a Tuesday discussion on the liberal daytime talk show over the lifting of mask mandates in schools.

ABC daytime gabfest “The View” has produced plenty of melodramatic commentary, viral moments and occasional outright misinformation on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are 10 examples.

1. Sunny Hostin suggests ‘1 percent’ of youths who get COVID-19 will die

Co-host Sunny Hostin drastically overstated the percentage of coronavirus deaths among younger people during a Tuesday discussion on the liberal daytime talk show over the lifting of mask mandates in schools.

Hostin said she didn’t want her children to be part of the “one percent” of those who get intubated and die from COVID-19, but federal health data shows the risk of dying for those under 17 from COVID-19 is far less than that.

"The View" co-hosts, from left: Whoopi Goldberg, Sara Haines, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro.
(The View  |  istock)

“You see, I don’t want to take the chance with my kid. I don’t want my kid to be part of the one percent that is intubated and dies because I don’t give her a vaccine,” she said, noting she had gotten her 15-year-old daughter vaccinated when the shots became available.

According to the CDC there have been 770 deaths from the coronavirus in children up to age 17, through the end of January. There have been nearly 10 million known cases of the coronavirus in the same age group, making the death rate approximately 0.008%, with countless cases unreported.

2. Hostin defends Sotomayor’s false claim

Hostin went to bat for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor after Sotomayor said during oral arguments last month that more than 100,000 children were in serious condition from COVID-19, claiming many were on ventilators.

Hostin suggested that despite being nowhere close to the actual figure, Sotomayor was making a valid point about the rise in hospitalizations amid the omicron variant. While there were more children hospitalized then than at any point during the pandemic, according to the CDC, the seven-day average of pediatric hospitalizations was around 3,700 that week, according to the Washington Post.

“Well, first, I just want to re-frame this a little bit about Justice Sotomayor,” Hostin said. “Because while she may not be accurate for current hospitalizations in children, she is correct that we have more children in the hospital now, more than ever before.”

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor is seen during a group photo session for the court, in Washington, April 23, 2021. 
(Getty Images)

Hostin didn’t stop there. Looking at her notes, she said “right now,” there were 82,843 children sick with COVID-19. However, that figure referred to the total number of hospital admissions of children confirmed with COVID-19 since August 2020, according to a Washington Post fact-check.

Hostin went on to state more than 1,000 children had died of COVID; according to the CDC, the number as of February was 795 in the United States for those aged 0-17. That number accounts for less than 0.09 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the United States, according to the CDC.

“That’s a real thing and those are real numbers,” Hostin said.

3. Sara Haines: Permanent indoor mask-wearing?

Co-host Sara Haines remarked last month that part of the “new normal” in the COVID and post-COVID era could mean people engaging in permanent indoor mask-wearing.

“I may never ride a subway again without a mask. I may never go indoors to big crowds and ever feel comfortable without a mask, and that’s up to me to do that,” Haines said.

On Twitter, after a news site clipped her remarks, Haines maintained she opposed shutdowns, school closures and mask mandates for future, less severe variants of the virus like omicron, given the availability of vaccines.

4. Whoopi Goldberg rips Bill Maher

Co-host Whoopi Goldberg erupted on HBO late-night host Bill Maher last month after the comedian criticized the “masked, paranoid world” of people and governments still insisting on stringent coronavirus routines. Maher has been critical of how liberal media has reported on the virus and noted Democrats were more likely to believe severe COVID-19 outcomes would occur “if they contract it.”

Goldberg lashed out at Maher, telling him to “stay away from everybody” if he decided he no longer wanted to follow any of the measures used to prevent spread of the virus, such as wearing masks, and argued he was forgetting that some at-risk people were still unable to get vaccinated. She at one point snapped, “How dare you be so flippant?”

“That’s not really funny to people who’ve lost their kids … or people who’ve lost family members or dear friends to this,” Goldberg said. “Nobody on the planet really wants to go through this. This is not something we’re doing because it’s, you know, sexually gratifying.” 

“If you’re the one who’s not paying attention, and you’re coughing and sneezing … then stay out of the public, man,” she added. “Nobody wants this. I don’t want it. And I think he’s forgetting that people are still at risk who cannot get vaccinated … little kids under the age of five, or people with health conditions.”

5. Co-hosts exit before Kamala Harris interview 

In one of the more bizarre moments in recent live television history, Hostin and co-host Ana Navarro were informed in the middle of a broadcast Sept. 24 that they had tested positive for COVID and needed to leave immediately.

As Joy Behar was set to introduce Vice President Kamala Harris for her first live television interview since taking office, a producer told Navarro and Hostin to leave the stage. Behar revealed after a commercial break that the two had received positive coronavirus tests and had to leave as a precaution. 

As the show scrambled to set up a video feed for Harris to be interviewed from backstage, remaining co-hosts Behar and Haines took audience questions for nearly the rest of the episode. The awkward television that ensued lit up social media, as the masked audience members were difficult to hear. The co-hosts crammed in a brief interview with Harris at the end of the program.

It was later revealed, however, that both Hostin and Navarro had received false positive results and never had COVID-19. Hostin was particularly upset by the spectacle, as both of her husband’s parents died of COVID-19.

In yet another example of melodramatic coronavirus commentary, Navarro said when she returned to the program she had feared for a moment she could “wipe out” Harris and her family because she had spent time with them earlier that day.

6. Hostin asks if Republicans ‘want their voters to die’

Hostin questioned Republicans’ strategy of opposing vaccine mandates, such as Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. Although DeSantis has promoted vaccinations, Hostin suggested that politicians like him “want their voters to die” by not getting the vaccine.

“So the Republican strategy is to tell their constituency not to get the vaccine, so do they want their voters to die? Like, those are the people that are supporting the Republicans. That part I don’t understand,” Hostin said in December.

7. Goldberg stunned by testing positive 

Goldberg channeled the energy of many media liberals who were shocked they could still contract COVID-19 despite being vaccinated and engaging in precautionary measures.

“I left a couple of weeks ago, just before the break, because somebody I had been around tested positive for coronavirus, so I left. So I’ve been gone a long time, I feel,” Goldberg said Jan. 5.

Whoopi Goldberg speaks at an event in New York City, June 26, 2019.
(Reuters)

“And I was all excited and, you know, they have to test us, and so they sent people to test me, and they tested me, and it was like, ‘Oh no you’re not coming back. We’re not sending anybody to your house. You have corona.’ And it was like, wait what?” she added. 

Goldberg stated that her shock came from the fact that she was fully vaccinated, had received the vaccine booster shot and hadn’t gone anywhere other than her house or “done anything.” Goldberg returned to the show less than week later.

Vaccines have been highly effective in preventing severe outcomes like hospitalization and death from COVID-19, but it came as a shock to many when they were still contracting and transmitting the virus, even after getting boosters.

8. Hostin touts conspiracy theory about Ron DeSantis

As the response to COVID-19 has been tied up with politics for the past two years, “The View” has gone to bat against some of its political foes over their handling of the situation, in particular Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“For those people that think Governor DeSantis, DeathSantis, is doing such a great job in Florida, well, he’s not doing such a great job because there are allegations that he hid the death numbers. There are allegations – and now he doesn’t want mask mandates,” she said in August, according to NewsBusters. “He’s coming after Joe Biden, which is absolutely ridiculous. We know this is all political. He wants to run for president.”

"The View" co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Sara Haines, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro.
(ABC News / Screenshot)

Hostin appeared to be parroting heavily disputed claims by former Florida health department geographer Rebekah Jones that she was ordered to fudge COVID-19 data and was fired for refusing, as well as a widely panned Yahoo story that accused the state of undercounting deaths.

Florida has the 18th-highest death rate from COVID-19 in the country during the pandemic. Mississippi has the worst, followed by Arizona, New Jersey, Alabama, Louisiana, and New York, according to The New York Times. 

9. Navarro frets over Stacey Abrams’ maskless photo

The hosts of “The View” were sharply critical of Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams this week after photos went viral of her maskless at a school, where children and adults around her were forced to wear masks. Usually admiring of the gubernatorial hopeful, the hosts said Abrams’ action was “hypocritical” and a major unforced error.

Navarro’s critique came from a point of Abrams putting the children in danger, however, despite data consistently showing they are at scant risk of severe COVID outcomes, even if they aren’t vaccinated.

“How could she not be much more careful in a room full of such small children?” she asked. “Stupid thing to do.”

Much of the criticism of Abrams from the right stemmed from her not following protocols she insists children abide by, but Republicans have largely opposed school mask mandates as unnecessary and even harmful to youth development and mental health. Abrams continues to support them.

10. Tennis star scolded over vaccine stance

Novak Djokovic, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19, was scolded by panelists on ABC’s “The View” last month after the top-ranked tennis star’s appeal against an Australian deportation order was dismissed, costing him a chance to play in the Australian Open. 

“Here is the bottom line, people are not putting up with it. Countries are not putting up with it, because it means that every time you sneeze or talk, you are spreading more hassle for them. They’re trying to clean their country up. They’re trying to put everybody in a mask and here you come, and you think tennis needs you that badly? No, honey, no,” Goldberg said

The hosts also clashed with guest Michele Tafoya, an NBC sportscaster who is vaccinated, last year when she expressed opposition to vaccine mandates. The hosts derided that stance as selfish.

Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie and Cortney O’Brien contributed to this report.

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