Republican Governor Says School Kids Who Catch COVID-19 Will 'Get Over It'

by Kristine Cannon
Gov. Mike Parson
Jacob Moscovitch/Getty

The Missouri Governor also says children not returning to school ‘will create more problems than the virus will ever think about creating’

On Friday, the Republican governor of Missouri not only pushed for kids to return to school, but he also controversially stated that once they do, they’ll get COVID-19, they’ll “go home,” and they’ll “get over it.”

Missouri Governor Mike Parson was a guest on local talk radio station KFTK when he discussed with host Marc Cox COVID-19, face masks, and “moving forward” — which, according to Parson, includes kids returning to school.

“These kids have got to get back to school,” Parson said, per HuffPost. “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.”

Parson continued to say that the risk of “not putting them back in school will create more problems than the virus will ever think about creating.” And, no doubt, Twitter had words.

While COVID-19 symptoms are generally milder in children — according to a recent study published in Pediatrics of COVID-19 in Chinese children, 90 percent of those who tested positive for the disease had mild symptoms or none at all — not all kids “get over it.” According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, serious illness in children with COVID-19 is possible; in fact, the aforementioned study reported that 10 percent of infants with a positive COVID-19 test became critically ill. And, while severe illness rates were lower in older children, there are rare cases of children in each age group that required hospitalization — and one 14-year-old died.

It doesn’t end there, either. Remember Zach Leviton, the 16-year-old boy from Wheeling, Illinois who died in April? Or, how about the hundreds of children currently hospitalized with COVID-19? Why didn’t they just “get over it”?

Missouri is among the more than 30 states experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. According to the New York Times‘ COVID-19 dashboard, Missouri had 35,316 total cases and more than 1,150 deaths, as of July 20.

“Mike Parson today said he is fine with every child in Missouri getting COVID-19 and spreading it to their family members. There is no place in our politics for such a reckless disregard for Missourians’ lives,” Missouri Democratic Party spokesman Kevin Donohoe said in a statement, per HuffPost.

Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and Scary Mommy is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. With news being updated so frequently, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For this reason, we are encouraging readers to use online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.