Surgeon General Vivek Murthy revealed in an eight-part tweet on Tuesday that his four-year-old daughter has tested positive for COVID-19 and expressed her desire for a coronavirus vaccine to be approved for children under the age of five.
“My 4 year old daughter tested positive for COVID-19 this weekend. She had a fever and a sore throat and is not like usual,” Murthy tweeted. “But, fortunately, she eats, drinks and breathes normally. We are following her closely.
He said his concerns about his young daughter’s health “raised a few thoughts,” which he listed in a lengthy Twitter thread on Tuesday.
Part of that reflection included gratitude for the vaccine and the fact that his daughter and five-year-old son are otherwise healthy. He also shared his thoughts on how difficult it is to be a parent during a global pandemic.
“Trying to isolate a young child from her 5-year-old brother and parents in a small home is quite difficult,” he wrote. “That’s why I’m grateful that my son, my wife and I are all vaccinated. Even if we get the virus, it’s unlikely to cause serious illness because we have protection.”
A senior public health official under President Joe Biden continued: “The experience of the past few days has reminded me that despite our differing views on the pandemic, we all basically want the same thing: to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. I hope to keep that in mind the next time I run into someone who has a different point of view.”
President Joe Biden’s chief surgeon, Vivek Murthy, tweeted Tuesday that his four-year-old daughter has tested positive for COVID-19.
Murthy is pictured (center) with his family above. Murthy’s wife Alice Chen is on the far right holding her 4-year-old daughter, while their 5-year-old son is on the left.
Murthy took to his lengthy Twitter thread on Tuesday to share the concerns of parents during the global pandemic and expressed gratitude that there is a vaccine to protect the rest of his family.
Murthy also says he would like to see a vaccine approved in the US for children under the age of five.
At least 76% of the US population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 64% are considered fully vaccinated. Pfizer and Moderna require two injections, while Johnson & Johnson only requires one.
Cases of COVID-19 are declining rapidly in the US, even leading some blue states to remove mandatory masks in their schools as young people remain the least affected by the disease.
“In the meantime, keep your children and loved ones close by,” Murthy wrote. “This is what we will do with our daughter until she gets better and for as long as possible after that.”
There are currently three vaccines approved in the US from Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. None of these are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for persons under 5 years of age. Mask-wearing obligations also do not apply to children under two years of age.
“I would like the vaccine to be available for my child and for all children < 5 years old,” Murthy tweeted, reporting the case of his four year old. "It will protect the children and help the parents."
“Unfortunately, the FDA still needs more clinical trial data to make a full assessment. I know that a safe and effective vaccine for children under 5 remains their top priority.”
As of the past week, at least 76 percent of the US population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 64 percent are considered fully vaccinated, meaning it has been two weeks since their first or second and last dose. . Pfizer and Moderna require two injections, while Johnson & Johnson only requires one.
Murthy says that when his daughter contracted the disease, he was reminded that despite “different opinions,” most people want to “keep themselves and their loved ones safe.” He said, “I hope to keep that in mind the next time I meet someone with a different point of view.”
There is discussion and speculation about whether the definition of “fully vaccinated” should be extended to include those who also received a booster.
As of February 10, 2022, at least 27 percent of the population has received revaccination.
Young people are among the group least likely to contract or become fatally ill from the disease, raising questions about why vaccination or mask-wearing requirements would apply to children in schools.
“While our baby will most likely be fine considering she is young and otherwise healthy, I know parents of higher risk kids may be more worried,” Murthy tweeted on Tuesday, alluding to the kids with a weakened immune system.
“Few things are worse than worrying about your child’s health. The more we all get vaccinated and take precautions, the more we can protect all of our children,” he insisted.
“Looking at my daughter’s positive test, I asked myself the same questions that many parents do: Will my child be okay? Could I have done more to protect her? Was it my fault? At such moments, it does not matter whether you are a doctor or a chief surgeon. We are parents first and foremost.”
“Raising children during the pandemic has been one of the hardest jobs I could imagine,” Murthy said.
“I have the utmost respect for the millions of parents who struggle daily with grueling decision-making related to protecting our children’s health and education.”
Late December and early January saw a massive spike in COVID cases as the highly contagious but less severe Omicron variant took over the country.
Dating rates didn’t rise at the same rate as the Omicron spike cases.