Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director, was asked on Friday to fact check a false statement made by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) after he signaled that there was still a possibility that Florida schools could reopen in May after being closed since March due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“We’re going to look at the evidence and make a decision,” DeSantis said on Thursday about the possibility of children returning to schools in the state.
“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,” he continued.
“This particular pandemic is one where, I don’t think nationwide there’s been a single fatality under 25,” he falsely claimed. “For whatever reason it just doesn’t seem to threaten, you know, kids,” DeSantis said.
“And we lose in Florida between five and 10 kids a year for the flu. This one, for whatever reason, much more dangerous if you’re 65 and plus than the flu, no doubt about that. If you’re younger, it just hasn’t had an impact, so that should factor into how we’re viewing this. I think the data on that has been 100 percent consistent,” he continued. “I’ve not seen any deviation on that.”
Dr. Fauci was asked on Friday whether “anyone under 25 has died in the country?”
“Yes,” Fauci answered.
“The governor said that no one under 25 has died, I guess you can clarify that people under 25 can die as a result of this,” the reporter pressed.
“Yes, people under 25 have died of coronavirus disease in the United States of America,” Fauci said.
WATCH: Dr. Fauci asked about Gov. Ron DeSantis saying no one in nation under 25 has died of coronavirus.
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) April 10, 2020
According to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published on Monday, “three deaths were reported among the pediatric cases (persons aged <18 years)” in their analysis of confirmed COVID-19 deaths reported between February 12–April 2, 2020.
The CDC’s Provisional Death Counts for Coronavirus Disease reports at least 5 deaths of persons under the age of 24 in the U.S.