The U.S. surgeon general announced on Twitter Tuesday that his 4-year-old daughter has tested positive for COVID-19.
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said his daughter has a fever and sore throat, but that he believes she will be fine, given her age and general health. However, he said her diagnosis caused him to question what he could have done to help her avoid the virus.
“Staring at my daughter’s positive test, I asked myself the same questions many parents have asked: Will my child be ok?” Murthy shared in a Twitter thread on Tuesday. “Could I have done more to protect her? Was this my fault? In these moments, it doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor or Surgeon General. We are parents first.”
Murthy’s tweet comes a few days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that it would wait for data on how well three doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine protected children younger than 5 before deciding whether to authorize the first two shots.
Nearly 18 million children in the U.S. are younger than 5, and the decision means they will have to wait a little longer before they are eligible to get vaccinated against the virus.
“I wish a vaccine was available for my child and for all kids [under] 5,” Murthy wrote. “It would protect kids and help parents. Unfortunately, more data is still needed from clinical trials for the FDA to make a full assessment.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most children who contract the virus do not suffer severe symptoms or die from the disease.
The surgeon general said his daughter’s diagnosis has made him look at people who disagree with him on pandemic safety measures in a different way.
“The experience of the last few days has reminded me that despite our varied opinions about the pandemic, we all largely want the same thing: to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. I hope to remember this the next time I encounter someone with a different point of view,” he wrote.
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