A second child has been hospitalized in Kentucky with a rare coronarvirus-related inflammatory disease, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Tuesday. During his daily briefing, Beshear said that the patient is 16 years old, and has been hospitalized out of an abundance of caution. The first Kentucky child to be diagnosed with the syndrome, a 10-year-old, is still in critical condition on a ventilator.
“For these individuals that have this, this is very dangerous and life-threatening,” Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack said.
Stack said the condition is similar to Kawasaki Syndrome, and causes inflammation in blood vessels throughout the body. Patients can have cardiovascular and respiratory collapse. Stack said children who come down with the disease do not always have respiratory symptoms initially, but instead show rash, fever, fatigue, aches and watery eyes.
Similar cases have been found among children in other states. Five children in New York have died from the disease, according to NBC.
Beshear Responds To Another Lawsuit
Beshear on Tuesday responded to yet another lawsuit challenging his executive orders meant to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. The suit, filed in federal court Sunday by Tony Ramsek, Frank Harris, Theodore Joseph Roberts, and Tony Wheatley, claims Beshear violated their constitutional rights with his ban on mass gatherings. According to their lawsuit, the plaintiffs participated in the “Re-open Kentucky” rally at the state capitol, which drew more than 1,000 protesters.
“I want people to be able to speak out, I want them to be able to disagree with me, I want them to be able to protest, but I want them to be able to do it safely,” Beshear said, adding that no enforcement was taken against the protesters, “even when they did it in a way that wasn’t safe.”
Beshear added that he did not support the waving of the Confederate Flag, or white supremacist symbols, as at least one protester did during the May 2 rally.
“I do not think it’s OK to be waving Confederate flags during a rally,” Beshear said. “Now I guess you can do that. It’s your right of free speech, but it’s really wrong, and it sends a message of hate.”
As Summer Approaches, Beshear Urges Kentuckians To Stay Vigilant
The governor admitted he is worried that as the economy begins to open up during phase 1, people might become complacent and less likely to comply with social distancing guidelines.
“Am I worried that our reopening plans add to that false sense of security? Yeah. I am a little bit,” he said. “But I know that where we are economically right now, we’ve got to try to do this and do it safely.”
The state is reopening parts of the economy this week, but has not met the original guidelines it set around testing and new cases, nor has it met those laid out by the White House, which calls for a 14-day decline in new cases.
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, testified Tuesday in Congress, and warned against states’ plans to “jump over” the guidelines laid out by the White House.
Beshear announced 191 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, for a total of 6,853 total cases. Ten more Kentuckians have died from coronavirus, bringing the state’s death toll to 321 people.
Beshear said the number of cases confirmed remains relatively steady, despite an increase in testing capacity. The state has now tested more than 110,000 people.