A Kentucky governor came under fire after he confessed to practicing natural immunity, despite warnings against so-called “chickenpox parties.”

During a radio interview this week with Bowling Green’s radio station WKCT, Governor Matt Bevin said all five of his biological kids and four adopted of his children were subjected to the childhood disease on purpose.

Bevin explained:

“Every single one of my kids had the chickenpox. They got the chickenpox on purpose because we found a neighbor that had it and I went and made sure every one of my kids was exposed to it, and they got it. They had it as children. They were miserable for a few days, and they all turned out fine.”

Public health experts called the practice unsafe and strongly warned parents against deliberately exposing children to harmful diseases.

Posted by Governor Matt Bevin on Friday, April 1, 2016

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated:

In the past, some parents participated in ‘chickenpox parties’ to intentionally expose their unvaccinated children to a child with chickenpox in hopes that they would get the disease […] The best way to protect infants and children against chickenpox is to get them vaccinated.

Dr. Robert Jacobson, a pediatrician and expert in vaccines and childhood diseases at the Mayo Clinic, told the Courier-Journal:

“I would never recommend or advise it. It’s just dangerous.”

In the Tuesday interview, the Republican governor said parents worried about chickenpox should prevent the viral disease through vaccines.

However, he believes the government should not force families to vaccinate their children. Bevin said:

“Why are we forcing kids to get it [the chickenpox vaccine]? If you are worried about your child getting chickenpox or whatever else, vaccinate your child … But for some people, and for some parents, for some reason they choose otherwise. This is America. The federal government should not be forcing this upon people. They just shouldn’t.”

A spokeswoman for Bevin did not respond to the Journal’s request for comment.

Posted by Governor Matt Bevin on Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Before vaccines became available, chickenpox parties used to be popular for disease prevention.

However, Dr. Jacobson said, “we’re no longer living in the 17th century.” Vaccines are safer and more effective at preventing diseases such as the chickenpox or measles.

Kentucky law requires children to be vaccinated for chickenpox before entering kindergarten.

Watch the video below:

About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

Leave a comment

7 Replies to “Kentucky Governor Sent His 9 Kids to ‘Chickenpox Parties’: They Were ‘Miserable’ but ‘Turned Out Fine’”

  • Robyn 1 year ago

    Back in the day I was born in 1954 and 4 other sbylings and I remember when my younger brother got The mumps We didn’t go outside our family but my Mother threw all us in the train room where she exposed us We didn’t care and I remember getting vaccines She was born much earlier then us so she make sure we had our shots But some of us got some didn’t And if I could have had kids I would have done the same Different eras different ways you can’t say what you’re do in a time of life you didn’t live

  • Denise Prince 1 year ago

    I’m going to have to agree with Governor
    Matt Bevin’s on this subject of Chicken Pox. I was born in 1962. My mother had two(2) other sisters that lived close to us.
    So I had four(4) cousins and my brother, anyway one(1) of my cousins birthday as two(2) years older than me. She was in school at this time and she got the
    Chickenpox’s from school, so hen my aunts and my mom found out, we all
    (cousins) that afternoon we all gathered at my cousins house that had came in contact with them. Mind you, we all had our vaccinations an at that time we all
    contacted the Chickenpox. SO, when Cindy would come in from school and had contacted something we all gathered
    at Aunt Sis’s house and we would hang out until they(the mother’s) thought we had been there long enough to catch what Cindy had brought in from school.
    That was how we were all brought up, and I stay on my daughter(Amanda) to do my grandbabys the same way. It was good enough for us, an I definitely believe that it should be good for them to do the same..

  • Craig Murphy 1 year ago

    Say, if you get chicken pox as a kid, don’t you carry the shingles virus? Believe me, nobody wants shingles.

    • Anonymous 1 year ago

      Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you’ve had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.

  • Gary 1 year ago

    Chicken Pox can be an immediate health threat, and can carry significant sequelae..including shingles. Side effects of vaccines today are extremely minimal due to modern formulation.

    Once a person is exposed and contracts the disease, they need to be 100% quarantined from non-household members. If parents do not take this measure, THEY risk being the cause others may suffer.

    It is ridiculous that people don’t immunize their children. Yes, there are very infrequent side effects from vaccines….including death. Contracting chicken pox can also have significant side effects…including death.

  • Lynn Delage 1 year ago

    I am a firm believer in vaccinations. I am old enough to remember polio epidemics, measles epidemics, and chicken pox epidemics. The idea of deliberately exposing your children to a disease is child abuse. The majority of people who have measles and chicken pox recover with no problems but others have bad effects including death. The chance of a bad effect from the vaccine are very slight. This idea that vaccines are bad is based on no facts.

We are excited to announce Dearly has joined forces with Mama’s Uncut. Helping Mom’s across the United States answer questions on life’s big challenges.