Young people are almost immune to this disease. The younger, the better, I guess. They’re stronger. They’re stronger. They have a stronger immune system. It’s an incredible thing. Nobody has ever seen this before. Various types of flu will hurt young people more than older people.
But young people are almost immune. If you look at the percentage, it’s a tiny percent of 1 percent. It’s a tiny percent of 1 percent. So we have to have our schools open.
Before we run with Trump's spin on this, take a look at the newly-released findings of a large-scale, high-quality study of SARS-CoV-2 transmission by children.
In the heated debate over reopening schools, one burning question has been whether and how efficiently children can spread the virus to others.
A large new study from South Korea offers an answer: Children younger than 10 transmit to others much less often than adults do, but the risk is not zero [the rate is half. But far more concerning] those between the ages of 10 and 19 can spread the virus at least as well as adults do.
Speculation on the reason for a lower transmission rate among the youngest children is quite interesting:
Children under 10 were roughly half as likely as adults to spread the virus to others, consistent with other studies. That may be because children generally exhale less air — and therefore less virus-laden air — or because they exhale that air closer to the ground, making it less likely that adults would breathe it in.
The findings don't indicate that children are immune to the virus. We know that they can be infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but they tend not to develop COVID-19 symptoms. They can still transmit the virus and cause the full-blown disease in adults. As the Times' report indicates, among children under age 10, the transmission rate is half the adult rate, but children ages 10 and older transmit the virus at the same rate as adults.
Notwithstanding Trump's assertion that children are almost totally immune to the disease so "we have to open schools," the findings in the first large scale study of virus transmission by children do not lead inevitably to the conclusion that we must open schools or that it is safe for America as a whole to do so. I certainly understand that decisions on school reopening are subject to cost-benefit analyses, but we know from Trump's record on lockdowns, mask-wearing, distancing, and the Tusla rally, that he can be reckless in his disregard for the dangers posed by the virus. And as complicated as it is to conduct such cost-benefit analyses, such an analysis is no analysis at all if you are only willing to look at the benefits side of the ledger.