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July 15, 2020

Ignoring Science, Pelosi Dems Fight Reopening Schools

Many kids need to be in the classroom, and many parents need to get back to work.

With a record-shattering 7.5 million jobs created in May and June, it’s clear the American people are ready to get back to work and are finding ways to do so safely.

Yet Democrats fight relentlessly against an economic recovery, willing to make children and parents suffer at least through the November elections. They understand that millions of parents depend on their children being in school during work hours.

According to one survey, 60% of parents had no help caring for their children during the shutdowns, and they can’t return to work if schools don’t reopen. That is likely why nearly 60% of parents favor reopening schools, even if 70% of parents acknowledge at least some risk. (Of course there’s risk. There’s risk every time you put your kid in a car, too, but life is about managing risks, not eliminating them entirely.)

President Donald Trump has called for a full reopening of schools in the fall, even going so far as threatening to cut federal education funding for schools that don’t. After all, why should schools get taxpayer funding if they refuse to open?

Speaking of risk, however, Trump’s stance is arguably politically risky, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi intends to exploit and increase that risk. Pelosi accused Trump of “messing with the health of our children,” claiming, “Going back to school presents the biggest risk for the spread of the coronavirus. They ignore science.”

Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post’s ostensibly “conservative” columnist, went a step further, accusing President Trump of wanting to “kill your kids.”

It can’t ever be a mere policy disagreement; it must be an existential battle between good and evil. Then again, it seems a tad disingenuous for Democrats, who openly support murdering millions of preborn children, to pretend to care if a few kids get sick.

In reality, it is Rubin and the Pelosi/Schumer Democrats who are ignoring the science. We now have ample data showing school-age children are by far the least susceptible to infection by the COVID-19 virus. In the U.S., children represent 22% of the population but only 1.7% of all COVID-19 infections. According to the CDC, only 30 children under age 15 have died from COVID-19 — less than one-sixth the number that die each year from the flu.

In other words, the chances of children under 18 contracting COVID-19 is exceedingly small, and the chances of them dying from it is almost nonexistent.

But wait! These kids may not get sick from the virus, but Democrats and their teachers-union accomplices insist they are veritable germ factories who will spread the virus to their teachers and administrators and bring it back home to mom, dad, grandma, and grandpa!

Is that true? A study from the Netherlands’ National Institute for Public Health and the Environment finds that, after reopening schools in early May, there has not been a single report of an employee infected by a child. A French study found that “despite three introductions of the virus into three primary schools, there appears to have been no further transmission of the virus to other pupils or teaching and non-teaching staff of the schools.”

Furthermore, schools in Germany, Singapore, Norway, Denmark, and Finland reopened months ago and haven’t experienced outbreaks, or even a significant rise in cases.

As it turns out, despite Pelosi’s ludicrous, fear-mongering claims, the science shows the far greater danger for children is in not returning to school. The 67,000-member American Academy of Pediatrics “strongly advocates” that every public policy for the upcoming year “start with a goal of having students physically present in school.”

The APA explains why: “The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020. Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation. This, in turn, places children and adolescents at considerable risk of morbidity and, in some cases, mortality. Beyond the educational impact and social impact of school closures, there has been substantial impact on food security and physical activity for children and families.”

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos supports President Trump’s decision to push schools to reopen in the fall under CDC guidelines. “There will be exceptions to the rule, but the rule should be kids go back to school this fall,” DeVos said. “And where there are little flare-ups or hot spots, that can be dealt with school by school or a case-by-case basis. There’s ample opportunity to have kids in school.”

But Democrats and teachers unions continue to vigorously fight a return to school. One of the nation’s largest teachers unions, the American Federation of Teachers, claims an additional $116 billion in federal funding is needed to safely reopen. That would be more than it cost the U.S. to rebuild Europe after WWII under the Marshall Plan. That’s a lot of Lysol!

Proving the entirely political objections to reopening, the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) demands a shutdown of charter schools and a defunding of the police before returning to work.

Keri Rodrigues, a former teachers-union organizer-turned-National Parents Union founder, is highly critical of teachers unions’ objections. She blames unions for fighting against accountability and innovation and wanting only to maintain the status quo, even to the detriment of our children, who are already falling far behind academically. Many children receive an hour or less of instruction per day.

For all these reasons and more, the truth is obvious. We must reopen the schools this fall.

(Visit our comprehensive CV19 Pandemic response and recovery page to review our timeline of government and political actions related to the pandemic, and see our related pages.

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