On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was grilled by anchor Wolf Blitzer over President Donald Trump's lie that children are "almost immune" to coronavirus.
"Let's talk about schools while I have you, Mark," said Blitzer. "The president once again said schools should reopen because, in his words, and he said this today, I was surprised to hear it when he said it on 'Fox & Friends,' kids are virtually immune to the virus. They can get it and they can transmit it, especially if they're ten years and older, they can come home, even if they're totally asymptomatic, they can spread it to their parents, their grandparents, to other adults. These are serious situations we're watching right now. But the president seems to be giving a false sense of security."
"No, I don't think he's giving a false sense of security at all," said Meadows. "Here's the great news, as a parent, as someone who, you know, our loved ones are the most precious thing that we have in our life, and as a parent when you look at that. If you look at the risk of children going to school, there's a six times greater likelihood of children dying from the influenza than there is from this disease. So, when we look at relatively safe — you know, again, one death is too many. But what I'm telling you is the flu is more dangerous, based on real statistics, than COVID-19. And parents need to understand that because we all want to make sure we protect our kids."
"But you agree that when the president says kids are virtually immune, they are not virtually immune," Blitzer pressed him. "They're potentially in real danger."
"Well, here's the numbers ... if we're talking about children that are 18 years of age and younger, and we look at so many deaths that have happened, there is 54 deaths between 18 years of age and younger," said Meadows. "As a parent, I care about my kids, as your viewers right now, they're thinking about their kids or their nieces or nephews or grandchildren. We do need to make sure that they're protected. And, yet, at the same time, we're taking every step that we can to do that and make sure that we open our schools responsibly and safely."