More than 513,000 Americans aged 0-18 have been infected by COVID-19.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Tuesday that Donald Trump was "telling people the truth" when he claimed at a rally the night before that "virtually nobody" had been affected by coronavirus.
Trump made his remarks while discussing the effects of the virus on young people. "Below the age of 18," he claimed, "like, nobody" had been lost to the virus, attributing this to possibly "strong immune systems."
"Take your hat off to the young, because they have a hell of an immune system. But it affects virtually nobody," he added, before calling for schools to reopen.
As Politico noted earlier on Tuesday, of the 6.8 million COVID-19 cases in the United States, about 8.4% — more than 513,000 children — have been Americans aged 0-17. The CDC reports that about 107 Americans between the ages of 0-18 have died from the disease.
Infected children, even if they survive the disease, can also face other negative long-term health effects and can pass the virus to others.
Overall, more than 200,000 people in the United States have died from the pandemic.
Pressed by CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta to defend Trump's statement on Tuesday, which McEnany claimed was "out of context," the press secretary said Trump's comment about the effect on children was nonetheless "factually true."
From a Sept. 22 White House press briefing:
JIM ACOSTA, CNN: Last night, the president said at one of his rallies about the virus, and I think he was talking about younger Americans, he said it affects "virtually nobody, by the way open your schools, everybody open your schools."
But he said to Bob Woodward, "it's not just old, it's not just older people, it's young people too." At 200,000 deaths, shouldn’t the president be telling people the truth about this virus at his rallies?
KAYLEIGH McENANY: The president is telling people the truth, and you're right, Jim, that he was talking about —
ACOSTA: But if he's not if he's saying it affects virtually nobody and that it doesn't affect young people, he's not telling the truth.
McENANY: Jim, but you're again taking the president out of context, I have his full quote here, and you're right that he was referring to young people, he said this —
ACOSTA: I'm not taking it out of context, if I said he was talking about younger people, then I'm not taking it out of context.
McENANY: You are taking it out of context, because you are making an assertion that he's not getting critical information when in fact he is, and I will underscore exactly what he said.
And he said this, "You know, in some states, thousands of people, and they've had nobody young, below the age of 18, like nobody, they have a strong immune system."
That is factually true, you can go to the American Academy of Pediatrics website, the Children's Hospital Association and they list out a number of states that have had zero pediatric deaths.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.