Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is facing backlash for an inaccurate coronavirus statistic he quoted during a recent press briefing.
According to DeSantis, coronavirus does not appear to take a toll on children. He even went a step further saying that he does not believe anyone under the age of 25 has died from complications of coronavirus.
During Thursday’s press briefing, DeSantis was discussing the timeline for possibly reopening schools in Florida. He began sharing his observations of the virus and how it affected children.
“This particular pandemic is one where I don’t think nationwide there’s been a single fatality under 25,” DeSantis said. “For whatever reason, it just doesn’t seem to threaten, you know, kids.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) report, there have been four deaths related to the coronavirus of those between the age of 15 and 24. Additionally, there was one reported death of a child who was between one and 4 years old.
See DeSantis’ remarks below:
The Governor of Florida — at a #COVID19 education meeting — just falsely claimed there have been no deaths nationwide of people under 25 "for whatever reason."— Kevin Cate (@KevinCate) April 9, 2020
"The data has been 100% consistent."
"I've not seen any deviation on that."
In reality, there have been hundreds. pic.twitter.com/56UTMuniHD
He continued, “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.”
He went on to share inaccurate details about data being “100% consistent” with his claims.
“I think the data on that has been 100% consistent,” he continued. “I’ve not seen any deviation on that.”
Shortly after DeSantis’ made the remarks, Twitter users began criticizing the governor’s leadership.
CNN’s Don Lemon also condemned DeSantis’ comments, citing the CDC concerns about coronavirus as it relates to individuals under the age of 25.
See some of the reactions below:
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis falsely claims that the novel coronavirus hasn't killed anyone under 25 nationwide while discussing a timeline for reopening schools in the state. https://t.co/xHp4xsRq1T pic.twitter.com/tRIdywzttX— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) April 10, 2020
Two points:— Ryan Gorman (@ryanegorman) April 10, 2020
1. Don't know what it is about this crisis, but DeSantis just can't get anything right. One screwup after another.
2. While there haven't been 0 deaths of people under 25, there also haven't been hundreds. That's overstating it by a lot. Reports vary, but between 5-9. https://t.co/zHCrzSnjL2
Ron DeSantis is considering reopening Florida schools, because he doesn't believe Covid-19 kills anyone under 25. This is of course false.— Leslie on a Pike 🐟 (@Leslieoo7) April 10, 2020
It also means DeSantis doesn't value the lives of teachers, custodians, librarians, parents, and grandparents.
Although DeSantis has faced criticism for his comment, he did note that he would be looking at the “evidence” before making a decision about reopening schools in Florida.
“We’re going to look at the evidence and make a decision. If it’s safe we want kids to be in school,” DeSantis said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “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.”