GOP Congressman Downplays Deaths Of Children From COVID

Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Penn.) on Tuesday tried to downplay the number of children who have died from COVID-19, saying that many had preexisting medical conditions that contributed to their deaths — glossing over the fact that, had they not become infected with COVID, they would not have died from it.

“Many of these children had preexisting — I’m sorry, had underlying medical conditions, making them more vulnerable to severe COVID-19 than the average child,” Reschenthaler said on the House floor, during a debate about masks in schools. “Meaning that many of these children died with COVID, not of COVID.”

“But again, that’s real science, not political science,” he added.

Here’s a clip of Reschenthaler making his remarks:

It’s true that most children who have died from COVID-19 had an underlying medical condition. There are also significant racial disparities in COVID deaths among children; Black, Hispanic and Native American children make up the majority of deaths.

But these children died as a result of becoming infected by COVID-19. As one observer noted on Twitter, it’s like saying people who were devoured by sharks died due to a loss of blood, not because a shark ripped them apart.

The most common underlying conditions in children who have died from COVID-19 aren’t obscure medical conditions, either. They are asthma, obesity and cardiac issues.

As of Feb. 2, 910 children age 0-18 years old have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A Reschenthaler spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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