Doctors react to Gov. Lee’s claim that kids don’t get sick from COVID-19

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is drawing some controversy after an appearance on Fox News.

During the interview, the governor said “kids do not get sick from COVID.”

“I don’t think any kid ought to wear a mask. If you want to follow the science, you wouldn’t have kids in a school wearing masks when kids do not get sick from COVID. That’s science, and that’s what we ought to be doing,” said Lee.

“He’s right that the vast majority of kids do not get sick from COVID, but they do get infected,” said Dr. Sandra Arnold, an infectious disease expert at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

“It is true kids get sick a lot less than particularly older adults, but that’s not to say we don’t have kids in the ICU with COVID itself and MIS, multisystem inflammatory syndrome,” said Dr. Steve Threlkeld, an infectious disease expert at Baptist Hospital.

Both doctors agreed most kids don’t get sick from COVID, but some without question do. Both doctors also said anyone following the science knows it’s too soon to do away with masks completely.

“For organizations running summer school, we did recommend kids continue to wear masks indoors, but not outdoors,” said Arnold.

Health experts said another major concern for kids is transmitting the infection to the elderly or people with underlying health issues, and those people ending up in the hospital or worse.