WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- GOP Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin knowingly exposed all his nine children to chickenpox instead of getting them vaccinated against the disease.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns people about exposing children to chickenpox because it can lead to severe complications.
- Bevin says that the administration shouldn’t order parents to have their kids vaccinated because “This is America.”
In a WKCT interview on Tuesday, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said that he intentionally exposed his nine children to chickenpox as a way of immunizing them against the disease.
“Every single one of my kids had the chickenpox,” Bevin told the radio station, adding that they got the chickenpox on purpose when they learned that a neighbor had it.
“I went and made sure every one of my kids was exposed to it, and they got it. They had it as children. They were miserable for a few days, and they all turned out fine.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website posted a warning against exposing children to chickenpox as a way of immunizing them.
“Chickenpox can be serious and can lead to severe complications and death, even in healthy children,” the CDC website warns. “There is no way to tell in advance how severe your child’s symptoms will be. So it is not worth taking the chance of exposing your child to someone with the disease.”
The CDC highly recommends getting infants and children vaccinated against the disease as the best way to protect them.
The Republican governor is also not in favor of the government mandate about vaccination because “this is America.”
He said: “If you are worried about your child getting chickenpox or whatever else, vaccinate your child. But for some people, and for some parents, for some reason, they choose otherwise. This is America. The federal government should not be forcing this upon people.”
In Kentucky, children should be vaccinated against chickenpox before they enter kindergarten. Religious exemptions can be sought or parents can provide a medical record that their child has already had the disease.
A sharp decline in the number of chickenpox cases was reported in the country after the vaccine was made widely available in 1995.
This week, a chickenpox outbreak was reported at a Catholic school in Kentucky where some parents had opted not to vaccinate their children.
Some parents are against vaccination due to religious or moral beliefs. But there are also those who are against immunization based on false or outdated information.