A series of controversial remarks by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on a St. Louis radio show are getting widespread attention — and some pushback.
In an interview on Friday with talk-radio host Marc Cox on KFTK (97.1 FM), Parson indicated both certainty and acceptance that the coronavirus will spread among children when they return to school this fall. The virus has killed 1,130 people in the state despite a weekslong stay-at-home order in the spring that helped slow the virus’ spread — and the state set a record on Saturday with 958 new cases.
In the same 10-minute interview, Parson said that if it came to it, he would probably pardon the Central West End couple who pointed guns at protesters marching past their home on a private street on June 28.
Parson’s comment on the coronavirus signaled that the decision to send all children back to school would be justified even in a scenario in which all of them became infected with the coronavirus.
St. Louis-area schools are expected to release their reopening plans on Monday.
“These kids have got to get back to school,” Parson told Cox. “They’re at the lowest risk possible. And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they’re not going to the hospitals. They’re not going to have to sit in doctor’s offices. They’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it.”
He emphasized that people who are at high risk of becoming seriously ill should be protected but said most people in the state were smart enough to figure out how to stay safe without government interventions such as mask mandates.
“We gotta move on,” he said. “We can’t just let this thing stop us in our tracks.”
The kids are going to go to school, they're going to get sick, and they are going to infect parents, family members, neighbors, friends, on down the line.
But we gotta move on, you see. Tens of thousands of Missourians will have to die, but that's a price Mike Parson is willing to pay, I guess.
Good luck, Show Me State.