Fox News attacks idea of COVID vaccine mandates for kids

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Fox News contributor Lara Trump called efforts to protect children against COVID-19 'fearmongering and fear tactics.'

Fox News on Thursday attacked efforts in multiple states to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for children between the ages of 5-11 following approval by the Food and Drug Administration of vaccines for children in that age range.

New York City was to begin offering vaccines on Thursday for children in the age group, while San Francisco, which began vaccinating those children on Wednesday, announced that children as young as 5 would be required to provide proof of vaccination before admission to certain indoor public spaces in a few months, after they've had a chance to get the shots.

Appearing on "Fox & Friends," contributor Lara Trump, the daughter-in-law of former President Donald Trump, said:

I think that, you know, fearmongering and fear tactics have been used from the very beginning of COVID as it relates to children, because they've wanted to scare parents, and this is just, it feels like a continuation of that. When you look at the science and you talk to doctors, they will tell you that the seasonal flu is far more deadly for children than COVID-19, yet, Ainsley, we are not forcing our kids every year in school to get a flu vaccine, that is an optional thing for children. So why the forced vaccine for COVID-19, when we know that, thank goodness, COVID does not impact kids the same way it does adults, there's a very low hospitalization rate, death rate, they are not the superspreaders that we initially thought they might be? So at a certain point, I think, so many people ask themselves, What is this all about? And it feels like it's less about COVID, less about safety, and more about control.

"Fox & Friends" host Ainsley Earhardt agreed and said parental concerns about control "might be why we're seeing a red wave in our country. When you talk to parents, they say, These Republican candidates are listening to our issues."

Trump's and Earhardt's comments fit Fox News' pattern of spreading misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines and promoting opposition to vaccination. Republican and conservative lawmakers and politicians continue to repeat the same falsehoods, including during appearances on Fox, and to use them to attack government agencies and Democrats who support vaccination, including President Joe Biden.

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended vaccinating children aged 5-11 against COVID-19, highlighting the danger the coronavirus and its variants — which have killed over 5 million people worldwide — pose to children.

In a press release announcing the decision, the CDC said, "COVID-19 cases in children can result in hospitalizations, deaths, MIS-C (inflammatory syndromes) and long-term complications, such as 'long COVID,' in which symptoms can linger for months." It noted that when the delta variant of the virus spread between June and August, hospitalizations of children and adolescents increased by 500%.

The CDC's website notes, "While COVID-19 tends to be milder in children compared with adults, it can make children very sick and cause children to be hospitalized. In some situations, the complications from infection can lead to death."

Noting that 94 children in the United States under 18 have died of COVID-19, CDC adviser Veronica McNally of the Franny Strong Foundation, which promotes vaccination, said that her vote in favor of child vaccination was meant "to prevent No. 95, the 95th death."

American children are already required to be vaccinated against a number of communicable diseases in order to attend public schools.

Currently all 50 states and Washington, D.C., mandate that schoolchildren be vaccinated against polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, and rubella. The CDC says that the United States has been able to maintain measles elimination status, for example, for nearly 20 years through vaccination, adding, "While we expect importations of measles cases into the United States to continue, the risk for measles for the majority of the population would still remain low. That is because most people in the United States are vaccinated against measles."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.