Republican Lt. Governor Dan Forest has said that, “All evidence points to the fact that our kids are 17 times more likely to have ill effects from the seasonal flu than they are from the coronavirus.” A recent fact check from WRAL’s PolitiFact finds that Forest’s claim is “Mostly False.”
PolitiFact asked experts if the consensus was as Forest suggested: “Children are 17 times more likely to have ill effects from the seasonal flu than they are from the coronavirus.”
“I’m not familiar with such a statistic,” said Bill Schaffner. Schaffner serves as professor of infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and medical director for the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.
“They’re really oversimplifying the issues at hand,” Alan Schroeder, critical care physician at Stanford Children’s Health, told PolitiFact. “And for that reason I don’t find it to be a useful comparison.”
Forest “misrepresented” reporting in the Wall Street Journal, cherry-picking statistics and using “ill effects” as a euphemism for deaths. For those reasons, PolitiFact gave him a “Mostly False” rating for his claim.
In July, Politifact rated Forest’s claim “masks don’t work with viruses” as false.