Child COVID Cases up 90% Last Month as Trump Says Kids Are 'Almost Immune'

While President Donald Trump insisted that children are "almost immune" to catching COVID-19, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently found that there had been a 90 percent increase in children contracting the virus over four weeks.

An AAP report released on August 6 found that there had been 380,174 cases among children, representing 9.1 percent of all available cases at the time. Between July 9 and August 6, childhood cases rose overall by 90 percent.

The report was based on data from 49 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam. Texas only reported age in 8 percent of cases, while New York state did not include a statewide breakdown of cases by age, although the report does include data from New York City.

During a Tuesday morning appearance on Fox Sports Radio's Outkick the Coverage Trump remarked that "young kids, almost none have a serious problem with" COVID-19. One day prior to the release of the AAP report, the president claimed during an appearance on Fox News that children are "almost immune" to catching the virus.

"If you look at children, children are almost, and I would say almost definitely, but almost immune from this disease," Trump said during an August 5 appearance on Fox and Friends. "I don't know how you feel about it, but they've got stronger immune systems than we do somehow for this... and they don't have a problem, they just don't have a problem."

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. on August 11, 2020. Alex Wong/Getty

The president had made similar comments claiming that the "amazing" immune systems of children make them virtually invulnerable to the disease prior to his appearance on Fox News, while pushing for schools to reopen for in-person learning across the country.

"Young people are almost immune to this disease. The younger, the better, I guess," Trump said during a press briefing on July 30. "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."

The Trump administration also touted a June report from the AAP in promoting school reopenings. The report "strongly" advocated policy recommendations be made "with the goal of having students physically present in school," noting detrimental impacts on children not attending schools, while warning that any openings should be subject to change or be modified based on the course of the pandemic.

In July, the group issued a second statement to clarify that they do not advocate reopening schools in areas where the virus is rapidly spreading against the judgement of local experts, or without stringent safeguards and preventative measures including social distancing and mask wearing, insisting that recommendations must be "based on evidence, not politics." The updated statement was not promoted by the White House.

Although experts agree that children tend to suffer less severe forms of COVID-19, they do not believe that the virus is risk-free for younger people. A number of children, including some infants, are known to have died from the virus. Scientists remain uncertain of how easily children can contract the virus, although evidence suggests that those 10 or older are likely to contract it at similar rates to adults. The role of children in spreading the virus to other, potentially more vulnerable, populations is also unclear.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment.