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Tipsheet

Bowser Ignores the Science and the CDC With Latest Move Regarding Schools

In late July, the Washington Post published a story highlighting how the DC government is expanding its vaccine requirement for school children, making it an outlier nationally.  "D.C. students who are 12 and older must be vaccinated against the coronavirus to attend school this upcoming academic year," the article explained. "The youth vaccine mandate in D.C. is among the strictest in the nation, according to health experts, and is being enacted in a city with wide disparities in vaccination rates between its White and Black children. Overall, about 85 percent of students between the ages of 12 and 15 have been vaccinated against the virus, but the rate drops to 60 percent among Black children in this age range."  The simple math is clear: Only about 40 percent of Black children in DC are vaccinated, meaning that a disproportionately high number of them would be locked out of schools, causing further damage through the great harm of learning loss that has been inflicted upon them during the pandemic.

Very few young American children have gotten vaccinated against COVID since the public health bureaucracy green-lit the shots, with reported percentages in the single-digits.  Among older age groups of kids, the numbers increase, but huge swarths of parents have decided to eschew the shots for their children, which is an entirely reasonable scientific choice (NYT: Just 30 percent of 5- to 11-year-olds and 60 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds have received their primary vaccine series nationwide").  The COVID vaccines have proven helpful for adults, especially at-risk ones.  The shots generally won't prevent transmission, as so many people have experienced, but they are effective at significantly lowering the risk of hospitalization or death from the virus.  But children are effectively immune from severe COVID infections or death by virtue of their age.  Otherwise healthy kids have a COVID death rate statistically close to zero.  They are at virtually no serious risk.  We've known this heartening fact for years, which is why overwhelming numbers of parents are opting against vaccinated their children for this disease.  Indeed, the new CDC guidance effectively admits that the vaccines make no difference on transmission (just as is the case with mask mandates):

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention loosened Covid-19 guidelines on Thursday, freeing schools and businesses from the onus of requiring unvaccinated people exposed to the virus to quarantine at home. The changes are a sharp move away from measures such as social distancing requirements and quarantining, which had polarized much of the country, and effectively acknowledge the way many Americans have been navigating the pandemic for some time. The agency’s action comes as children across the country return to school and many offices have reopened. “We know that Covid-19 is here to stay,” Greta Massetti, a C.D.C. epidemiologist, said at a news briefing on Thursday. “High levels of population immunity due to vaccination and previous infection, and the many tools that we have available to protect people from severe illness and death, have put us in a different place.”...the recommended prevention strategies no longer draw a distinction between people who are up-to-date on their vaccinations and those who are not, streamlining a complicated set of rules that could be difficult for schools and businesses to navigate. People who are exposed to the virus no longer must quarantine at home regardless of their vaccination status...

A very belated shift, based on an increased acknowledgement of natural immunity, as well as an understanding that treating vaccinated and unvaccinated people differently makes no sense at this point.  The brain trust in Washington, DC -- led by infamous COVID hypocrite Muriel Bowser -- looks at all of this and concludes that all school children still must be vaccinated in order to attend in-person classes this coming academic year.  It's an insane policy, exposed as even more insane by the CDC changes.  But according to the mayor, DC is sticking with the anti-science, anti-child plan.  A reporter from the Daily Signal asked Bowser how she could justify instituting a plan that will have a heavy and deleterious impact on students of color in her city.  Her answer:

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In response to a question from The Daily Signal about how 40% of black school aged children were unvaccinated, Bowser responded, “I don’t think that that number is correct. We have a substantially few fewer number of kids that we have to engage with vaccination.” While Bowser claimed the number provided by The Daily Signal is incorrect, the statistic came from the District of Columbia’s own vaccination data website. The data shows that around 60% of black kids aged 12-17 have received a complete COVID-19 vaccine regimen, meaning 40% are unvaccinated or have not received a second shot if necessary. 

The statistic cited by the Daily Signal reporter, and by the Post in the story quoted above, comes from the city's own numbers. Bowser is defending an indefensible, unscientific policy by disputing her own administration's official statistics.  What an embarrassment.  What will the 'equity' obsessives say about this?  Probably nothing, given how little they care about actual outcomes for children, versus the ideological demands of their demented agenda.  Just across the river in Virginia, it looks like a large school district is positively itching to reimpose an ineffective mask mandate, but they're now barred from doing so under a state law pushed for and signed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin.  Meanwhile, in New York City:

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And I'll leave you with this, from New Jersey's flagship state university (language warning):

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