Kentucky Governor Exposes His 9 Kids To Chicken Pox Instead Of Vaccinating Them

by Christina Marfice
Image via Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Rather than a potentially life-saving vaccine, this Kentucky governor just gave his kids the chicken pox. On purpose

Since 1995, we’ve had a vaccine for chicken pox, which saves today’s kids from having to go through the itchy, achy, feverish hell that most adults probably remember from having the illness as kids. It also saves kids from fairly common complications of the disease that could leave them hospitalized or, in more severe cases, even dead. That is, unless those kids happen to be fathered by a guy like Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, who opted not to get his nine kids vaccinated against chicken pox, and intentionally exposed them to the disease instead.

“Every single one of my kids had the chickenpox,” he said during an interview on a Kentucky talk radio station. “They got the chickenpox on purpose because we found a neighbor that had it and I went and made sure every one of my kids was exposed to it, and they got it. They had it as children. They were miserable for a few days, and they all turned out fine.”

Honestly, we’re glad his kids are OK in spite of him. Because before the chicken pox vaccine was available in the United States, tens of thousands of kids were hospitalized each year with complications from the disease, and hundreds had symptoms so severe that they died. The CDC warns on its website, “Chickenpox can be serious and can lead to severe complications and death, even in healthy children. There is no way to tell in advance how severe your child’s symptoms will be. So it is not worth taking the chance of exposing your child to someone with the disease. The best way to protect infants and children against chickenpox is to get them vaccinated.”

But that wasn’t good enough for Governor Bevin. No, he thinks kids should toughen up and earn their disease immunity the old fashioned way: through needless and potentially life-threatening suffering. It’s enough to make any reasonable person’s blood boil.

What might actually be worse is Bevin’s justification for purposefully inflicting on his own children a dangerous disease with an unknown complication level for each case. He just doesn’t think the big, bad government should be able to tell him what to do. Which is particularly stupid, but, TBH, not any more stupid than people who don’t vaccinate because they still insist vaccines aren’t safe, something that has been repeatedly and exhaustively disproven.

“If you are worried about your child getting chickenpox or whatever else, vaccinate your child,” he said. “But for some people, and for some parents, for some reason, they choose otherwise. This is America. The federal government should not be forcing this upon people. They just shouldn’t.”

In this case, maybe some would argue that the government absolutely should be stepping in to protect Bevin’s kids from the willful endangerment he’s inflicting upon them.

This really shouldn’t be surprising, since Bevin is the same governor who mused out loud that kids should be forced to go to school during dangerously cold temperatures so they don’t become “soft” babies who think “if life is hard, you can curl up in the fetal position somewhere in a warm place and just wait until it stops being hard.”

His poor kids. Our heart is breaking for them, having someone this completely incapable of empathy or compassion for a father. Kentucky, this guy’s term is up this November. You know what to do. And for the sake of all that is holy, vaccinate your damn kids.