A seven-year-old boy from Georgia with no underlying health conditions became the youngest person in the state to die from coronavirus, a day after president Donald Trump said children are “almost immune from the disease”.
The Georgia Department of Public Health announced on Thursday that the seven-year-old from Savannah, Georgia, had died after suffering a seizure in response to the virus, but did not release the date of the unnamed child’s death.
In a statement to Fox5 in Atlanta, Dr Lawton Davis, director of the Coastal Health Department, said that “every Covid-19 death we report is tragic, but to lose someone so young is especially heart-breaking.”
He added: “We know that older individuals and those with underlying conditions are at higher risk of complications, but this is a disease everyone should take seriously.”
A six-year-old girl from Tennessee and a six-year-old boy from Nebraska also died from coronavirus this week. The previous youngest person to die in Georgia from Covid-19 was a 17-year-old, according to Fox News.
The child’s death came a day after president Trump falsely claimed that children are “almost immune” to the disease when he called in and spoke to the hosts of Fox & Friends.
Mr Trump said on Wednesday morning that “schools should be open. If you look at children — I would almost say definitely — they are almost immune from this disease.”
He added: “They’ve got stronger, hard to believe, I don’t know how you feel about it, but they’ve got much stronger immune systems than we do somehow for this. And they don’t have a problem, they just don’t have a problem.”
After the president posted a clip of the comments on his Facebook page, it was taken down by the social media site, who said it contained “false claims”.
In a statement on Wednesday evening, Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone said: “This video includes false claims that a group of people is immune from Covid-19 which is a violation of our policies around harmful Covid misinformation.”
Courtney Parella, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, responded to Facebook’s claims and said that the president was “stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus”.
She added: “Another day, another display of Silicon Valley’s flagrant bias against this president, where the rules are only enforced in one direction. Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth.”
The post was also taken down from both Twitter and Youtube, for breaching their coronavirus misinformation rules.
A study from The American Academy of Pediatrics earlier in the year found that children are less susceptible to the symptoms of the disease, and some school districts in the US have reopened after a period of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.