At a recent event in Ohio, President Trump recently said that the novel coronavirus affects “virtually nobody” under 18, suggesting that the only ones at risk are older Americans with heart problems and/or pre-existing conditions.
As of Sept. 17, more than 587,000 children were infected with COVID-19, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. While hospitalization rates are lower for children compared with adults and children are less likely to be severely ill with COVID-19, the disease has killed more than 100 children and hospitalized more than 5,000 young people. Children with COVID-19 are also susceptible to Multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), a serious condition in which some parts of the body — such as the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, digestive system, brain, skin or eyes — become inflamed. And because children tend to show few symptoms of COVID-19 or show no symptoms at all, they may be silently spreading the disease to family, neighbors and other adults. President Trump himself says COVID-19 can infect children, when he admitted to reporter Bob Woodward on March 19: “Now it’s turning out it’s not just old people, Bob. Just today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just old- older. Young people too, plenty of young people.”