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Democrats Reject the Science on School Reopenings

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

For months, through travel bans, economic shutdowns, reopenings, reclosings, mask mandates and more, Democrats have hysterically urged the Trump administration to "listen to the science." There has been no need for the screaming. After all, President Trump appointed the country's top medical and disease experts to a task force on February 26. For weeks on end, we heard from these members directly about the science behind slowing the spread of the disease, how to prepare hospitals and what is being done on testing and therapeutics.

But now that the science shows kids should go back to school in the fall, more than ever leftist politics are being deployed to stop it from happening.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it will be detrimental to the nation's children if schools continue to stay closed in the fall.

"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," the group, which represents thousands of pediatricians around the country, released in a statement. "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."

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine agrees and published a report that guides parents, students and teachers on how to reopen.

"Weighing the health risks of reopening K-12 schools in fall 2020 against the educational risks of providing no in-person instruction, school districts should prioritize reopening schools full time, especially for grades K-5 and students with special needs, according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Opening schools will benefit families beyond providing education, including by supplying child care, school services, meals, and other family supports," the highly respected scientific group released this week.

"Without in-person instruction, schools risk children falling behind academically and exacerbating educational inequities. While it will be impossible for schools to entirely eliminate the risk of COVID-19, the report says, young children in particular will be impacted by not having in-person learning and may suffer long-term academic consequences if they fall behind as a result. In grades K-3, children are still developing the skills to regulate their own behavior, emotions, and attention, and therefore struggle with distance learning. Schools should prioritize reopening for grades K-5 and for students with special needs who would be best served by in-person instruction," its statement continues.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield, a longtime government bureaucrat Democrats have been urging President Trump to trust, believes schools should be reopened.

"I want to make it very clear that what is not the intent of the CDC's guidelines is to provide a rationale to keep schools closed," Redfield said during a recent Wuhan coronavirus task force briefing at the Education Department. "It's important that we don't react emotionally, but we act based on data. Clearly, the ability of this virus to cause significant illness in children is very, very, very, very limited."

"Remember, it's guidance. It's not requirements. And its purpose is to facilitate the reopening," he continued. 

But the Left never lets a good crisis go to waste.

In California, teachers union members are holding kids and their parents hostage by refusing to go back to school until police departments in the state are defunded. This, of course, isn't their only demand.

"In what appears to be a labor union power play, the United Teachers Los Angeles union announced Friday that Los Angeles Unified District schools effectively cannot reopen unless certain conditions are met: privately operated publicly funded charter schools are shut down, police are defunded, Medicare-for-All government-run health care is passed, a statewide wealth tax is implemented, housing for homeless is fully funded, 'financial Support for Undocumented Students and Families,' and they want a federal bailout because 'the CARES and HEROES Acts provided funding for K-12, both fell far short of what would be needed to rescue districts and state and local governments.' The source cited for this claim is the National Education Association, the largest labor union and special interest group in the United States," the California Globe Reports.

When it comes to "the science," Democrats pick and choose based on how it will impact President Donald Trump's reelection chances while pushing aside the needs of children and their parents. The consequences for keeping schools closed won't be short term and will hurt the most vulnerable American families who, ironically, Democrats claim to fight for.


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