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Thomas Gallatin / Nov. 21, 2020

School Is a Safe Place During COVID

Keeping kids in school is better for their overall health and future.

“The truth is, for kids K-12, one of the safest places they can be, from our perspective, is to remain in school,” stated Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Robert Redfield on Thursday regarding a recent wave of school closures due to the coronavirus. “It’s really important that [we’re] following the data, making sure we don’t make emotional decisions about what to close and what not to close. And I’m here to say clearly the data strongly supports that K-12 schools — as well as institutes of higher learning — really are not where we’re having our challenges.” He added, “And it would be counterproductive from my point of view, from a public health point of view, just in containing the epidemic, if there was an emotional response, to say, ‘Let’s close the schools.’”

Earlier this year, Redfield pointed to what he saw as a far greater threat to children’s health than the coronavirus. “We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID,” he observed. “We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above excess that we had as background than we are seeing the deaths from COVID. So this is why I keep coming back for the overall social being of individuals, is let’s all work together and find out how we can find common ground to get these schools open in a way that people are comfortable and they’re safe.”

It turns out President Donald Trump has been right all along, which comes as no surprise to our readers, nor should it come as a surprise to any who have been following the actual science. It has been well documented that children and young people are neither super spreaders nor seriously threatened if they contract the novel virus. In fact, the annual flu has a higher mortality rate among children and young people when compared with COVID.

However, what may come as a bit of a surprise is that a journalist from The New York Times is finally admitting that Trump was right when he called for reopening schools to the objection of many Democrats. In a story titled “When Trump Was Right and Many Democrats Wrong,” Nicholas Kristof writes, “Trump has been demanding for months that schools reopen, and on that he seems to have been largely right. Schools, especially elementary schools, do not appear to have been major sources of coronavirus transmission, and remote learning is proving to be a catastrophe for many low-income children.”

Wait. We thought Trump was a racist and a bigot who cared nothing for the plight of minorities and the poor. In truth, it is Democrats who better fit that mold. Kristof writes, “So Democrats helped preside over school closures that have devastated millions of families and damaged children’s futures. Cities such as Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., have closed schools while allowing restaurants to operate.”

Thus far, out of more than one million children who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, only 133 have died. That’s a fatality rate of 0.01%. So at the risk of overstating it, we’re shutting down schools and doing inestimable damage to our children’s future to prevent … what, exactly?

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