US President Donald Trump has doubled down on his assertion that children are "essentially immune" from COVID-19, despite a new report which said nearly 100,000 kids tested were infected with the virus by the end of July.
On Monday, the new report from the American Academy of Paediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association found that 97,078 new child cases were reported from July 16 to 30, a 40 per cent increase, reports Xinhua news agency.
While children represented only 8.8 per cent of all cases in states reporting cases by age, over 338,000 kids have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic.
But despite these figures, Trump while addressing the media in the White House also on Monday said that "there may be a case, a tiny, a tiny fraction of death, tiny fraction, and they get better very quickly", The Hill news website reported.
'I think schools have to open. We want to get our economy going'
Trump and other administration officials are aggressively pushing for a resumption of in-person classes and argue children are at an extremely low risk of being infected. "I think for the most part, (kids) don't get very sick, they don't catch it very easily, and they don't transfer it to other people, or certainly not very easily," the President added.
The increase in the number of infected children comes as the overall number of infections has climbed steeply in the months since states began reopening businesses. As of Tuesday, the US accounted for the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world at 5,094,338 and 163,462, respectively, according to the Johns Hopkins University.