Florida governor Ron DeSantis says coronavirus ‘doesn’t seem to threaten kids’ and falsely claims it hasn’t killed anyone under the age of 25 in the US
- Florida is under a one-month lockdown in a bid to slow the spread of the virus
- DeSantis, 41, said he would look at ‘evidence’ and could reopen schools in May
- Children can still act as carriers of coronavirus and pass it on to others
- A total of four patients under the age of 25 have died from Covid-19 in the US
Florida governor Ron DeSantis has claimed coronavirus ‘doesn’t seem to threaten’ children.
DeSantis, 41, also falsely claimed that nobody under the age of 25 had been killed by the virus in the US, in comments made at an educational roundtable on Thursday.
The governor was discussing distance learning with teachers, parents and government leaders and said: ‘This particular pandemic is one where I don’t think nationwide there’s been a single fatality under 25.
‘For whatever reason it just doesn’t seem to threaten, you know, kids,’ CNN reported.
But in reality four patients under the age of 25 are known to have died from Covid-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, above, speaks at the Miami Beach Convention Center to discuss the U.S. Army Corps’ building a coronavirus field hospital inside the facility
DeSantis imposed a month-long state lockdown on April 1 after facing increasing calls to implement measures and halt the spread of the virus.
Healthcare workers wearing personal protection equipment administer coronavirus tests at a a drive-thru Covid-19 test collection facility in Melbourne, Florida. The facility will test at least 500 people every day of the week
At the time he said: ‘At this point, even though I think there’s a lot of places in Florida that have very low infection rates, it makes sense to make this move now.
‘I did consult with folks in the White House. I did speak to the president.’
Florida’s Department of Education had already ordered all public schools to close between March 16 and March 30, though this was later extended.
Despite DeSantis claims nobody under the age of 25 had died from Corinavirus in the US, the CDC reports a total of four such deaths
Now DeSantis has left open the possibility of schools reopening in May, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
When asked if he planned to keep schools closed for the remainder of the academic year DeSantis said: ‘We’re going to look at the evidence and make a decision. If it’s safe we want kids to be in school. Even if it’s for a couple of weeks, we think there would be value in that.’
Although adults do account for the majority of confirmed cases, there are known cases of children infected with the virus.
Infants with the bug have generally shown milder symptoms than adults, federal health officials say, but can still act as carriers of the virus and spread it to others.
Ron DeSantis’s office was contacted by MailOnline for comment.
Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stand outside the Miami Beach Convention Center as they prepare to build a coronavirus field hospital inside the facility
Above, Army Corp Administrative Contracting Officer Nestor Rivera shows what an ICU unit will look like at the Miami Beach Convention Center
While there are no reported deaths of victims under the age of 25 in Florida, the state has been hit hard by the virus.
More than 16,600 people in the state have tested positive for the virus, with 371 known deaths from Covid-19.
Earlier this week DeSantis announced at a press conference that the Miami Beach Convention Center will be converted into a field hospital with 400 regular beds and 50 ICU beds.
He said there was the ability to scale up to 1,000 beds if needed, as the region anticipates a surge of coronavirus patients.