Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY
Published 5:45 p.m. ET July 20, 2020 | Updated 9:18 a.m. ET July 21, 2020
President Donald Trump criticizes the CDC guidelines for the upcoming school year. Which includes children, teachers, and staff getting regularly tested.
WASHINGTON – Missouri Governor Mike Parson, a Republican, downplayed the risk for children who may contract the coronavirus from classrooms during school reopenings, insisting “they’re going to get over it.”
“These kids have got to get back to school,” Parson said in an interview Friday with radio host Marc Cox on KFTK. “They’re at the lowest risk possible. And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they’re not going to the hospitals. They’re not going to have to sit in doctor’s offices. They’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it.”
“We gotta move on,” he continued. “We can’t just let this thing stop us in our tracks.”
His comments come during a nationwide debate over school reopenings as the pandemic continues to rage across the United States.
Some experts have expressed concerns about returning to classrooms because of the risk students could carry the virus home to older relatives. Education professionals have also expressed worry they may be in harm’s way.
State Auditor Nicole Galloway, the state’s Democratic candidate for governor, said Parson’s comments on coronvirus and children displayed “stunning ignorance.”
She also stated the virus “doesn’t stop with our children. The teachers, bus drivers, janitors, food service workers, parents, grandparents and neighbors who our children see every day are susceptible to this virus, too. We need a plan that keeps all Missouri families safe.”
This is stunning ignorance from @GovParsonMO on how COVID-19 affects children. He admitted that he’s okay with your kids (and your families) getting the deadly disease when he sends them back to school. Does he not realize multiple American kids have died after being infected? pic.twitter.com/UZtjt043Fs
— Nicole Galloway (@nicolergalloway) July 17, 2020
Dr. Alex Garza, incident commander of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, said, “We worry about those in school who are not children—teachers, support staff and volunteers. Many of those people will have a much more serious response to the virus, and that is what we want to avoid.”
“These children could also come home and spread the virus to others in their household who could also be at a greater risk of a serious outcome,” he continued.
According to data from John Hopkins as of Monday, the U.S. has nearly 4 million COVID-19 cases and 141,000 deaths. In Missouri, according to the state’s Department of Health, there were 530 new cases of COVID-19 reported Monday and there have now been 1,132 deaths across Missouri.
Analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation found one in four teachers are at risk of becoming seriously ill if they contract COVID-19, and around 3 million people over the age of 65 live in a household with a school-age child.
It is still unclear how frequently children transmit the virus to others. Some data suggests children are less susceptible to contracting the virus and spreading it to adults.
However, a new, large study out of South Korea found children between the ages of 10 and 19 can spread the virus as much as adults do, while children younger than the age of 10 transmit the virus to others less often than adults.
According to the Associated Press, the CDC reports that as of Friday, 175,374 cases have been confirmed in kids ages 17 and under, accounting for approximately 6% of all confirmed cases.
The CDC says 228 children and teens through age 17 have died from the disease in the U.S. as of Thursday, about 0.2% of the more than 138,000 Americans who have died in all, according to AP.
The Trump administration has been pushing to reopen schools under the premise that children under the age of 18 “are at very low risk” if they catch the virus.
Reiterating this point, President Donald Trump told Fox News host Chris Wallace in an interview Sunday, “Young people have to go to school, and there’s problems when you don’t go to school, too. And there’s going to be a funding problem because we’re not going to fund — when they don’t open their schools. We’re not going to fund them. We’re not going to give them money if they’re not going to school, if they don’t open.”
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/07/20/missouri-gov-mike-parson-says-kids-get-over-covid-19/5474557002/