U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told Congress on Thursday that more than 25,000 women and children had been killed by Israel in Gaza since October 7, but the Pentagon later clarified that estimate, saying the figure came from the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, not U.S. intelligence.

During a congressional hearing, Austin was asked how many Palestinian women and children had been killed by Israel and Austin replied: “It is over 25,000.”

A few hours later, Sabrina Singh, a Pentagon spokesperson, said that Austin was citing an estimate from the Gaza health ministry and was referring to total Palestinians killed, not just women and children.

“We cannot independently verify these Gaza casualty figures,” Singh said in a statement.

Back in November, Hot Air’s David Strom wrote in astonishment that the New York Times’ Elizabeth Spiers “didn’t know that Hamas runs the Gaza Health Ministry. Let that sink in. She literally did not know that. She thought it was a conspiracy theory.”

Austin apparently doesn’t know that either — or he doesn’t care.