Conservative political analyst, Phil Kerpen recently tweeted

The 2009-10 swine flu was five times deadlier to kids than COVID.

But it didn't hurt boomers, so it didn't stoke an irrational fear/panic that disrupted kids' lives indefinitely.

Infection Fatality Rate comparison for Swine Flu versus COVID for 0-17 year olds

Was swine flu five times as deadly to children under 18 as COVID-19?

Related: Is the flu more deadly than COVID-19 for children?

  • 1
    I added the source. Maybe this question should be closed, I think the one I linked answers and explains it everything well enough. Aug 7, 2021 at 23:48
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    Please transcribe the text in the image to improve question accessibility.
    – gerrit
    Aug 9, 2021 at 12:09
  • It might be true but this is framing. First of all there was little to nothing done to prevent swine flu and there were still 7 000 000 LESS cases. And by looking at only a small fraction of people this chart distorts the truth. It is like showing a chart of deaths by heardesease for 5-10 year olds and stating that heart deseases are not dangerous at all.
    – bibleblade
    Aug 24, 2021 at 9:16
  • @bibleblade we didn’t have massive testing programs for the swine flu. It’s hard to estimate how much cases there were in reality. Aug 27, 2021 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


The statement itself is true, up to some change in the covid numbers. Anecdotally there are more young people sick now than when his data were compiled. The crossover point below which flu is more dangerous than SARS-CoV-2 (at least the original strains) is about 14 years old.

Kerpen's conclusion, however, doesn't follow from this fact in any way. Adults are at much higher risk than children from both flu and COVID–19, and of course the elderly are at increased risk beyond prime-of-life adults. Kids don't live by themselves. They encounter parents, teachers, grandparents, and other adults. The idea of allowing COVID–19 to circulate freely among children is sure to promote more breakthrough infections in older persons (that is, Boomers) for whom the illness is dangerous.

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    Your first link is about Influenza generally, not H1N1.
    – Oddthinking
    Aug 24, 2021 at 6:41
  • -1 to “anecdotally”. We already have plenty of hospitalization data from the Covid variant in Israel, UK and the US. No need to use any anecdotes. Aug 27, 2021 at 5:07

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