Imagine for a moment a similar situation to the school reopening debate on Earth One, where President Hillary Clinton was trying to get America reopened fending off an essentially AWOL Republican challenger, without the aid and direction of the pro-Democrat media. Teachers unions would be clamoring to get back to work. Our leading academics and young, adorable students would cut ads pleading for Republican governors to reopen schools. The media narrative would be obvious as they berated one elected Republican after another for their lack of leadership, intransigence, and anti-science reluctance in bringing schools back on line.
The script is obvious: “Why are you Republicans so anti-science? Kids need to learn! The data are clear as day: development is stalling, kids are falling behind every day, not to mention covering up for at-home child abuse. Without the school lunch program, kids will starve. Schools are the BEST place for kids to be, for their health, their education, and to ensure their parents’ ability to work! Haven’t you seen the Europeans? Once again they’re more pro-science than we are, and their schools are open! It’s the height of white privilege to think that middle and working class minorities can keep their jobs without schools being open – what, you think they can hire tutors? We all know minority kids don’t get on Zoom classes as much as the white kids, and their internet is slower because of racism. If you’re a dumb fearful redneck who thinks your kid is going to get the ‘Chinese virus’, go ahead and keep your stupid kid at home! While you are letting your kids’ brains melt because you’re so anti-science, mine will be racing ahead of them in STEM!”
Instead of that, we’re in this amazing moment where the media is claiming that everyone wants schools reopened, of course, but but but reasons – so they push out polls like this. Those reasons have nothing to do with the evidence we have from Europe’s experience, which has clearly shown that young children are not at risk even of spreading this virus. Ignoring this evidence is crazy, just as crazy as it is to claim there needs to be a single nationwide guidance when every community in America is facing radically different situations.
The media has set new, ahistorical, and impossible to achieve goals that must be achieved before reopening – such as guaranteeing that *no one* will get sick if schools reopen. That’s insane. Even if we get a vaccine for this, that claim WILL NEVER be true, any more than it is of influenza or anything else.
No wonder that Dr. Scott Atlas said yesterday he feels like he’s “living in a Kafka novel.” “I’m not sure how many times it has to be said, but the risk to children for this disease, for fatalities, is nearly zero. I mean, this is totally antithetical to the data,” he said. Atlas is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a health-care expert, and former professor and chief of neuroradiology at the Stanford University Medical Center.
“The statements come as a rebuke to recent claims from Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about restarting the country’s education system. “Going back to school presents the biggest risk for the spread of coronavirus,” Pelosi stated in a recent interview on CNN. “They (Republicans) ignore science and they ignore governance in order to make this happen.”
“The speaker couldn’t be further from the mark on the science, Atlas said. “That’s just completely wrong and contrary to all the science,” he began. “And when I say all ‘the science,’ I mean science from all over the world… The risk to children for significant illness is ‘far less than from seasonal flu,’ according to JAMA Pediatrics.” …
“Anyone who prioritizes children would open the schools,” he said. “That’s just counterfactual to say that the children are not the risk or we’re at risk here. When we see the harm to children, most children learn most of what they learn in school from social engagement, from learning how to resolve conflicts, from dealing with others. This is obvious.”
The WSJ makes the case that schools have received a massive amount of aid, and that if they’re not going to reopen, they shouldn’t get any more.
States so far have received 150 billion in pandemic relief from Congress, much of which can go to education, and schools have received 13.2 billion on top of that. Unions are demanding more, but Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says schools have used a mere 195 million. Republicans in Congress should condition additional funding in a fifth virus-aid package on schools physically reopening five days a week. If some public schools or districts refuse to reopen, make the money available to charter or private schools that are open.
That type of pressure may be the only way to achieve something that, were the political affiliations switched, would be endorsed publicly by everyone as the responsible approach. Otherwise, expect a lot more parents to end up like these:
Once again, our sincere thanks for all your hard work to find creative new ways to make the Bay Area one of the least hospitable places to raise a family in the entire country. We honestly thought it would be nearly impossible for you guys to top having to pay over 1 million for a tiny, two-bedroom condo and we definitely thought it would be unthinkable to find ourselves agreeing with Donald Trump for the first time in four years about reopening schools, but somehow you guys found a way to make it all happen.