Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis falsely claimed Thursday that the novel coronavirus hasn’t killed anyone under 25 nationwide while discussing a timeline for reopening schools in the state.
“This particular pandemic is one where, I don’t think nationwide there’s been a single fatality under 25. For whatever reason it just doesn’t seem to threaten, you know, kids,” DeSantis said at an educators’ meeting to discuss distance learning.
“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% consistent,” he continued. “I’ve not seen any deviation on that.”
In reality, the CDC reports on its website that four people between the ages of 15 and 24 and one person between the ages of one and four have died. CNN has also reported on the death of a newborn in Connecticut on April 1 and an infant in Illinois last month whose death is being investigated as possibly caused by the virus.
Young people can also serve as carriers of the virus, transmitting to the elderly and people with underlying conditions – those most at risk.
CNN has reached out to the governor’s office for comment.
While there are no reported deaths of victims under the age of 25 in Florida, the state has been hit hard by the virus. More than 16,000 people in the state have tested positive for the virus, with 354 people having already died.
CNN’s Denise Royal contributed to this report.