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Birx: CDC Ignored a Study Documenting a Lockdown-Caused Mental Health Crisis Among Kids...Back in 2020

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Perhaps the most interesting part of my recent interview with Dr. Deborah Birx, the former White House Coronavirus response coordinator, was an anecdote she shared about the CDC, data, and the well-being of children. In the context of bemoaning our society's dreadful risk assessment throughout the pandemic, Birx described how important research into the harm being inflicted on kids through COVID lockdowns was essentially shrugged off and ignored by the agency. A lot of people have been making very belated "now it can be said" admissions about the wages of school closures, mask requirements, and other "mitigation" efforts in recent months. Many critics of these policies have been sounding those same alarms for well over a year and were attacked for doing so. What's especially disturbing about Birx's revelation is that the federal government knew about the seriousness of the problem all the way back in mid-2020. Yet schools remained shuttered in many places for an entire additional school year after these findings were presented. Malpractice: 

"SAMHSA and the NIH were doing studies and analyzing the mental health of our children. Through June and July of 2020 and came out with a really terrific report on how children needed to be in school because of not only the education, but the socialization and the peer support that occurs among children and that the children’s mental health was deteriorating across the country. They called me one day and said the head of SAMHSA called me and said, 'I can’t get CDC to take this guidance seriously and to integrate it into their school guidance.' So I sent that to Bob Redfield, the head of the CDC, and I said, 'please have your teams look at this. I think it needs to be summarized in the introduction to the school guidance so that every parent can make decisions about what’s best for their child, weighing the risk of the virus against the risk of not being in school from not only education and food and all of those pieces, but the mental health of their child.' They didn’t they wouldn’t include it. They wouldn’t include it."

Why wouldn't they? I asked that question, and you can click through and listen to her answer. As the lady says, early days "fog of war" only gets you to the summer of 2020, if you're relying on that excuse on this front. There's another element of that equation that must be included in any meaningful social autopsy of these catastrophic decisions. Remember when I mentioned how a lot of people have just recently started telling important truths about the pandemic, some of which were considered crankery or misinformation by many elites not long ago? I really did mean a lot of people: 

Caption: Arsonist laments damage caused by own fire. Perhaps more than any single person, with the possible exception of President Biden, Randi Weingarten is disproportionately responsible for the anti-science restrictions – school closures, in particular – that caused the crisis she now cravenly decries. It's incredible to watch. She prolonged closures with every fiber of her being, using her deep-pocketed political influence to literally alter the Official Science on these policies, ensuring that flawed, anti-real-science guidance would provide unions and Democrats with handy excuses to keep schools shuttered for months on end. They clung to this approach even as reams of data from states and countries with open classrooms proved "remote learning" was unnecessary and deleterious. As usual, Weingarten's priorities lay elsewhere; the children were an afterthought. And now she has the gall to feign concern about a problem to which she heavily contributed. None of this should come as a surprise, via the Associated Press: 


A school system in suburban Kansas City is eliminating over 100 jobs, including kindergarten aides and library clerks. Oakland, California, is closing seven schools. Other districts around the country are merging classrooms, selling buildings and leaving teaching positions unfilled in order to close budget gaps. Public school systems are beginning to feel the pinch from enrollment losses tied to the coronavirus pandemic. Money for schools is driven partly by student headcounts, and emergency provisions in many states allowed schools to maintain funding at pre-pandemic levels. But like the billions of dollars of federal relief money that have helped schools weather the crisis, those measures were not meant to last forever...“Where did those kids go?” Hutchison asked during a recent public meeting. “Where are they? They didn’t come back this year. That’s what’s laying on that additional reduction in our funding.” Families opting for homeschooling, private schools and other options sent enrollment down sharply in the first full school year of the pandemic, and generally it has been slow to recover.

Go figure. Here's another rant from Weingarten, in case you missed it late last month: 


That's rich stuff coming from someone whose official position was that in-person public schooling was not essential for a year and a half while attacking Republican politicians for disagreeing and serving children and parents well by resuming in-person learning in the fall of 2020. Birx, by the way, cheered those districts for doing the right thing, driven by data. I'd add that political leaders who bucked the wrong safetyist consensus and followed the true science also deserve a great deal of credit for this: 

I just want to applaud the schools that did open in the fall of 2020. I want to really applaud the universities, particularly the land grant schools, who understood how important education and that peer support was and who opened and brought their students back. I was privileged to be on over 30 campuses and really see what they did. They made it through...They figured a way forward and I was there to support them and listen to them and learn from them. And I think, you know, these are the stories that really need to be told.

I'll leave you with this. It seems as though 82 percent of Senate Democrats remain insanely committed to forcibly masking pre-schoolers for absolutely no scientific reason – including vulnerable members up for re-election like Georgia's Raphael Warnock and New Hampshire's Maggie Hassan: 


The Biden administration, meanwhile, is fighting in court to force masks back onto airline travelers, despite a lack of super-spreader events on commercial flights, thanks to excellent air circulation methods. As for large, prominent, elite events featuring maskless people packed into hotel ballrooms? They endorse and participate in those, the last two of which have become COVID super-spreaders. It's incoherent, perhaps because Biden's transportation secretary doesn't know that ballrooms are much less safe than airplanes when it comes to spreading the virus. He evidently believes the opposite, in spite of years of data to the contrary. We're in the very best of hands. 

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