FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin says he deliberately exposed his children to chickenpox so they would catch the highly contagious disease and become immune.
During a Tuesday interview on Bowling Green radio station WKCT, Bevin said his children were “miserable for a few days” after contracting chickenpox but said “they all turned out fine.”
Bevin and his wife, Glenna, have nine children, four adopted.
The Republican governor said parents worried about chickenpox should have their children vaccinated. But he said government shouldn’t mandate the vaccination.
Kentucky requires that children entering kindergarten be vaccinated for chickenpox, but parents may seek religious exemptions or provide proof that a child already had the disease.
Bevin’s comments followed reports this week of a chickenpox outbreak at a Kentucky Catholic school.