Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s oft-criticized reaction to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak took another turn for the worse. Speaking at an educators’ meeting Thursday, DeSantis falsely claimed that the deadly virus has not killed anyone under the age of 25 in the U.S.

“This particular pandemic is one where, I don't think nationwide there's been a single fatality under 25. For whatever reason it just doesn't seem to threaten, you know, kids,” DeSantis said. “And we lose in Florida between five and 10 kids a year for the flu. This one, for whatever reason, much more dangerous if you're 65 and plus than the flu, no doubt about that, if you're younger it just hasn't had an impact. So that should factor into how we're viewing this.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that, contrary to DeSantis’ claim, four people ages 15-24 and one infant age 1-4 have died from the novel coronavirus. CNN also reports that the deaths of two infants in Connecticut and Illinois, respectively, are being investigated as potentially coronavirus related.

Early research into COVID-19 found that the disease posed a greater mortality rate to older patients, like those 65 and older, and those with underlying medical conditions. More recent findings, however, have found that otherwise healthy young people and even children can still be seriously impacted by the disease.

DeSantis has in the past been criticizing for refusing to take swifter measures against COVID-19 in his state. He issued a stay-at-home order for the state on April 1 but many thought that this move should have come much sooner, as roughly 20% of Florida’s population is 65 or older and are at an increased risk.

Johns Hopkins University reports that Florida has seen nearly 18,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 419 confirmed deaths. Despite DeSantis making claims about nationwide statistics, his assertion does hold true for his own state, as no patients under 25 have died from the virus in Florida. Experts expect Florida to be another COVID-19 hotspot in the coming weeks.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis initially opposed allowing the cruise ships to dock, but changed his mind after President Donald Trump said they should be allowed to disembark
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he will bus off migrants arriving on secret flights to U.S. President Joe Biden's home state of Delaware. GETTY IMAGES / JOE RAEDLE