For most of the coronavirus outbreak, conservatives have argued that the constantly upward-ticking meter clocking the COVID-19 deaths was missing the mark.
It was failing to account for deaths caused by stringent, if not draconian, lockdown policies, primarily in blue states. Those measures, faithfully advocated by our death-watch media, who shamed any leader who challenged the orthodoxy, were driving up despair and health risks.
We had warning signs. Way back on April 3, Reuters reported, “Public health specialists are exploring a different consequence of the mass shutdown: the thousands of deaths likely to arise unrelated to the disease itself. The longer the suppression lasts, history shows, the worse such outcomes will be.”
Yet, like Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, most of our leaders ‘persisted’ in ignoring warnings to do something different.
In Clark County, Nevada, however, officials have finally gotten a grim signal too devastating to ignore.
“The spate of student suicides in and around Las Vegas has pushed the Clark County district, the nation’s fifth-largest, toward bringing students back as quickly as possible,” The New York Times reported on Sunday.
What did “spate” mean in this context? According to the Times, that translated to 18 student suicides between last March and December. One victim was just nine years old.
Former Times reporter Alex Berenson noted how the newspaper “finally commits some real journalism with a devastating indictment of the human cost to students of school closings” and conservative author Ann Coulter tweeted: “Security breach at @nytimes! They ran a good piece.”
“This month,” the Times noted, “the school board gave the green light to phase in the return of some elementary school grades and groups of struggling students even as greater Las Vegas continues to post huge numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths.”
So, bad grades accumulated by young people were not the only lockdown-related consequence that went ignored by state and local educators, public health officials and elected leaders. They also failed to see how juvenile psyches could be driven to utter despair by forced isolation – to protect them from a virus that in almost every case would not kill them, if it harmed them at all.
But Las Vegas isn’t alone. Per the Times: “Superintendents across the nation are weighing the benefit of in-person education against the cost of public health, watching teachers and staff become sick and, in some cases, die, but also seeing the psychological and academic toll that school closings are having on children nearly a year in. The risk of student suicides has quietly stirred many district leaders, leading some, like the state superintendent in Arizona, to cite that fear in public pleas to help mitigate the virus’s spread.”
The Times noted, “In Clark County, it forced the superintendent’s hand.”
Kids are killing themselves because of isolation while teachers unions are fighting to keep schools closed despite schools not being a serious vector of disease transmission. Never forget this. https://t.co/v0t42NbPFM
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) January 24, 2021
“When we started to see the uptick in children taking their lives, we knew it wasn’t just the Covid numbers we need to look at anymore,” Jesus Jara, the Clark County schools superintendent, told the Times. “We have to find a way to put our hands on our kids, to see them, to look at them. They’ve got to start seeing some movement, some hope.”
Perhaps we should look further up the chain than local school administrators or even governors, who, after all, are not scientists and were only following the advice they were given by the scientific community.
To that end, investigative journalist Jordan Schachtel compiled a timeline of all the occasions when Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s leading infectious disease expert, either dismissed reopening schools or waffled on it.
Schachtel’s litany of Fauciisms begins last March 12, when the good doctor told us, “What was done when you close the schools is mitigation. We have to try as best as we can to distance ourselves from each other.”
Schachtel then documented more than a dozen occasions when Fauci publicly argued for keeping schools closed, and criticized those – such as President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis – who advocated for getting kids back to class. Even as studies and real-time evidence from Europe showed that children were not overly susceptible to the virus.
Then, after Thanksgiving, Schachtel notes, “Fauci discovers the almost year-old data showing that schools are not vectors for COVID-19 transmission” and – poof – all those other objections disappeared, right down the mainstream media’s memory hole.
“Obviously, you don’t have one size fits all,” Fauci told ABC News that day. “But as I said in the past … the default position should be to try as best as possible within reason to keep the children in school or to get them back to school.”
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