NATIONAL NEWS

Kentucky Governor Says He Exposed His Children To Chickenpox

Mar 20, 2019, 6:01 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:13 pm
GEORGETOWN, KY - OCTOBER 30: Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin speaks at the unveiling of a new $80 mill...
GEORGETOWN, KY - OCTOBER 30: Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin speaks at the unveiling of a new $80 million Toyota engineering headquarters October 30, 2017 in Georgetown, Kentucky. The 235,000 square foot state-of-the-art Product Engineering and Manufacturing Center (PEMC) is the final building constructed under the "One Toyota" project. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
During a Tuesday interview on Bowling Green radio station WKCT, Bevin said his children were “miserable for a few days” after contracting chickenpox but said “they all turned out fine.””Every single one of my kids had the chickenpox,” Bevin said in the interview. “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.”

Bevin and his wife, Glenna, have nine children, four adopted.

Public health authorities strongly discourage the practice of deliberately exposing children to chickenpox, a medical expert said Wednesday.

“It’s unfortunate and not an example for any of us,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

“We should vaccinate all our children. It’s a great triumph of public health in the United States. Let’s not take a step backward,” he added in a phone interview.

Bevin’s office did not immediately respond to an email request for additional comment Wednesday. Bevin is seeking a second term as governor in this year’s statewide elections in Kentucky.

The Republican governor said Tuesday that parents worried about chickenpox should have their children vaccinated. But he suggested that government shouldn’t mandate the vaccination.

“Why are we forcing kids to get it?” Bevin said in the interview. “If you are worried about your child getting chickenpox or whatever else, vaccinate your child. … And in many instances, those vaccinations make great sense. But for some people, and for some parents, for some reason they choose otherwise.”

Kentucky requires that children entering kindergarten be vaccinated for chickenpox, but parents may seek religious exemptions or provide proof that a child already had the disease.

Bevin’s comments followed reports this week of a chickenpox outbreak at a Kentucky Catholic school.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two doses of chickenpox vaccine for children, adolescents and adults who have never had chickenpox and were never vaccinated, according to its website. Children are routinely recommended to receive the first dose at 12 through 15 months old and a second dose at 4 to 6 years old, it said.

“What the governor and other like-minded folks are unaware of is that there are potentially serious complications of chickenpox,” Schaffner said.

Complications from chickenpox can include bacterial infections, pneumonia and encephalitis — inflammation of the brain, according to the CDC. Complications aren’t common in healthy people with the disease, it says, but high risk groups for complications due to a serious case of chickenpox can include infants, adolescents, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 26: Bleu speak onstage during the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theat...
JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr. AP Entertainment Writer

Stars use BET Awards stage to criticize Roe v. Wade ruling

Big stars used the BET Awards stage to strongly criticize the Supreme Court’s recent decision to strip away women’s constitutional protection for abortion.
21 hours ago
police, crime, police tape...
Tina Burnside and Jarrod Wardwell, CNN

3 children dead after 911 caller said mother tried to stab them during a house fire in Georgia

Three children are dead and their mother is facing murder charges after allegedly trying to stab her children during a house fire in Georgia.
21 hours ago
FILE PHOTO (Idaho State Police/Facebook)...
Michael Houck

Kearns woman killed in two vehicle crash in Idaho

A Kearns woman has died after being hit by a car while on a motorcycle in Idaho Saturday.
21 hours ago
A passenger looks through a window at Dubai International Airport on January 01, 2022 in Dubai, UAE...
Chuck Johnston, CNN

More than 700 flights canceled Sunday

At least 730 flights were canceled across the United States on Sunday evening, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware
21 hours ago
Officers respond to the scene after a vehicle fleeing police struck five people in Brooklyn, killin...
Andy Rose and Kiely Westhoff, CNN

Vehicle fleeing police kills a grandmother and injures 4 people, including an 8-year-old

A grandmother was killed and an 8-year-old boy was among four others injured when they were struck by a vehicle fleeing New York police Saturday night.
21 hours ago
FILE (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Tie in Alabama GOP race means winner to be selected by lot

Alabama's Republican Party has declared a tie in the primary race for a state Senate seat and says the winner will be chosen by lot.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Kentucky Governor Says He Exposed His Children To Chickenpox