In an interview on KFTK’s The Marc Cox Show on Friday, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson callously explained why he's pushing for schools to reopen this fall, even as new COVID-19 cases continue to trend upwards across the United States. Parson, a father of two grown children, acknowledged that kids will get the coronavirus when they go back to school, but dismisses any potential harm, saying, "They're going to go home and they’re going to get over it."
"These kids have got to get back to school," Parson said, per USA TODAY. "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."
As of June 17, the CDC reported the mortality rate among people in the United States between the ages of 5 and 14 was 0.013 percent. While that figure seems low, you should read it like a person who has just been told that there is a 0.013 percent chance they can land the person of their dreams. As you probably guessed, there is a strong possibility that their response would be, "So, you're saying that I still have a chance."
At least 13 children between the ages of 5 and 14 have died from COVID-19.
For Parson to assume that these kids will just contract the coronavirus and eventually get better ignores the potential long-term health problems that they could deal with when they have their whole life ahead of them. CNN published an article Sunday detailing how thousands of people in Europe who have recovered from COVID-19 still aren't fully back to normal. Since the virus has been proven to attack a person's lungs, kidneys, liver, heart, brain, nervous system, and gastrointestinal tract, it's possible that these kids will never just "get over it."
If a child contracts the coronavirus, it puts the health of their family members in harm’s way, especially the ones who will more likely need to go to the hospital. If Parson believes that kids will certainly get COVID-19, then their teachers, who last we checked, tend to be considerably older than their students, will also contract the virus. Will they also just "get over it" too? Maybe. But then again, maybe not, but why should they have to risk their lives?
As Parson's comments made the rounds online, people on social media expressed their disagreement with his take.