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UN predicts hundreds of thousands of children will die from virus-induced economic shutdown

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Grim news about the number of children worldwide expected to perish this year because of the coronavirus-induced economic downturn has added substance to President Donald Trump’s concerns about the cure potentially being worse than the disease.

According to a United Nations’ report on the coronavirus’s “impact” on children released last Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of kids may die before year’s end because of the economic realities being engendered by the current crisis.

Economic hardship experienced by families as a result of the global economic downturn could result in hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths in 2020, reversing the last 2 to 3 years of progress in reducing infant mortality within a single year,” the report reads.

And this alarming figure does not even take into account services disrupted due to the crisis – it only reflects the current relationship between economies and mortality, so is likely an under-estimate of the impact.”

View the report in full below:

An additional 42 to 66 million children “could fall into extreme poverty” as well unless the economic spiral impacting the global economy ends soon. An even larger share of children worldwide could be forced to miss out on needed education.

“188 countries have imposed countrywide school closures, affecting more than 1.5 billion children and youth,” the U.N. report notes. “The potential losses that may accrue in learning for today’s young generation, and for the development of their human capital, are hard to fathom.”

“More than two-thirds of countries have introduced a national distance learning platform, but among low-income countries the share is only 30 percent. Before this crisis, almost one third of the world’s young people were already digitally excluded.”

Children also face a higher risk of “witnessing or suffering violence and abuse” specifically because of the “[l]ockdowns and shelter in place measures” being applied by everybody from Indian President Narendra Modi to governors here in the states.

“Children in conflict settings, as well as those living in unsanitary and crowded conditions such as refugee and IDP settlements, are also at considerable risk. Children’s reliance on online platforms for distance learning has also increased their risk of exposure to inappropriate content and online predators,” the report continues.

Responding to the report’s release, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres issued a statement appealing to world leaders and families to “protect our children.”

Listen (disable your adblocker if the video doesn’t appear):

But while the report specifically attributes the horrifying consequences of the ongoing economic downturn to “[p]hysical distancing and lockdown measures,” “restrictions of movement” and “surveillance strategies,” Guterres stopped short of criticizing these measures. Instead, he urged leaders to adapt to the situation.

“The report urges governments and donors to prioritize education for all children,” he said. “It recommends they provide economic assistance, including cash transfers, to low-income families and minimize disruptions to social and healthcare services for children.”

“We must also prioritize the most vulnerable – children in conflict situations; child refugees and displaced persons; children living with disabilities. Finally, we must commit to building back better by using the recovery from COVID-19 to pursue a more sustainable and inclusive economy and society in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.”

A growing number of Americans, including the president, appear to prefer pursuing a different strategy — one that calls not for inundating governments with more debt or people with more problems, but rather for pushing for an immediate end to the lockdowns that have produced all these problems.

Like the president bluntly wrote in tweets posted Friday, it’s time for liberation:

This sentiment is based on the increasingly substantive argument that the cure — lockdowns and shutdowns — have the potential to be more harmful than the coronavirus itself.

While this argument was initially dismissed by critics, emerging evidence — from multiple studies showing that the coronavirus is far less deadly than initially reported, to the U.N.’s findings about the hundreds of thousands of children expected to die — point to this theory possibly being 100 percent correct.

Even Fareed Zakaria of CNN, a far-left network that’s published the Communist Party of China’s propaganda amid the coronavirus crisis, has been forced to admit that maybe, just maybe, Trump was on to something when he tweeted last month that “we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”

Look:

Sure, except that it exceedingly looks like “the cure really could be worse than the disease” for wealthy nations such as the United States as well …

Vivek Saxena

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