Kentucky governor says he purposely exposed children to chickenpox

Alyssa Rege - Print  | 

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said during a radio interview March 19 that he intentionally exposed his nine children to the chickenpox virus so they would contract the disease and gain immunity, according to the Courier Journal.

Three things to know:

1. Mr. Bevin told a radio station that each of his nine children, ages 5 to 16, have had chickenpox "on purpose."

"They got the chickenpox on purpose because we found a neighbor that had it and 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," he said during the program.

2. During the interview, Mr. Bevin also said he opposes government intervention in mandating vaccines.

"Why are we forcing kids to get [the chickenpox vaccine]? 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. They just shouldn't," he said.

3. Three medical experts who spoke with the Courier Journal said the practice of purposely infecting a child with chickenpox can be dangerous. The CDC also urges parents against holding "chickenpox parties," which some parents use to expose their children to the virus.

To access the full report, click here.

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