Fox News contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier answered questions from a panel of mothers Wednesday on “Fox & Friends,” including on whether long-term, large-scale school closures are necessary to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Saphier, a full-time practicing physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, said such drastic actions could do more harm to the community overall compared with the effectiveness of stopping the spread.
“I’m not necessarily sure long-term if that’s the right decision to have these long-term school closures. We do have to think of how this will affect our community and the long-term consequences of these massive school closures may be more severe than the virus itself,” she said.
One of the mothers on the panel said that in her area, schools were closed for a day to allow them to be disinfected after a father of school-age children tested positive for COVID-19. Saphier said that was the right move by the school district.
“We know that COVID-19 is extremely contagious. If the father was infected it seems like the community spread definitely clusters in families. The likelihood of the child potentially having the virus, you know, is not insignificant. It’s a great idea that they went and disinfected it,” she said.
“For the flu, children are vectors, little Petri dishes, I have three of them I can say that. When it comes to this virus it really seems like adult interaction that is spreading it.”
Fox News medical correspondent Dr. Marc Siegel said Tuesday that closing schools and canceling large public events without an immediate threat of people contracting coronavirus is only serving to spread fear in the hearts of Americans.
“If you’re doing it for legal reasons, that you don’t want to get sued or because of fear, you’re actually spreading more fear. You’re spreading panic. You’re giving the message to people that there’s more of this virus out there,” Siegel told the “Outnumbered” co-hosts. “That’s why we need the testing. I want to know how much of this virus there really is.”
The total amount of coronavirus cases in the U.S. surpassed 1,000 on Tuesday night, with the virus officially being reported in all but 12 states. Various events have been canceled throughout the country as health officials warn about attending large-scale gatherings. At least 28 deaths have been reported.