The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Parson on Friday conducted an interview with talk-radio host Marc Cox in which he insisted children in the state would go back to school no matter what.
"These kids have got to get back to school," Parson said. "They're at the lowest risk possible. And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they're not going to the hospitals. They're not going to have to sit in doctor's offices. They're going to go home and they're going to get over it."
While it's true that children have significantly lower risk of suffering severe reactions to the novel coronavirus, the odds are nonetheless greater than zero. Additionally, there are concerns about teachers and other school staffers getting the disease, as well as about parents and grandparents getting it when the children return home.
"We worry about those in school who are not children — teachers, support staff and volunteers," Dr. Alex Garza, incident commander of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, told the Post-Dispatch. "Many of those people will have a much more serious response to the virus and that is what we want to avoid. These children could also come home and spread the virus to others in their household who could also be at a greater risk of a serious outcome."