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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has kind of flip-flopped again.
During an appearance Sunday on ABC News’ “The Week,” he subtly suggested that schools cannot safely reopen unless Congress passes President Joe Biden’s desired $1.9 million pork-addled coronavirus relief bill.
“I think that the schools really do need more resources, and that’s the reason why the national relief act that we’re talking about getting passed — we need that. The schools need more resources,” Fauci told host George Stephanopoulos.
The infectious disease expert didn’t outright say that schools can only reopen if given more resources, but he certainly suggested that. He also suggested schools can only be reopened in the “safest way” possible.
“I think it can be done. I mean, obviously it’s not a perfect situation, but it’s really important to get the children back to school in a safest way as possible. Safe for the children, but also safe for the teachers and the other educators,” Fauci said.
Yet as noted by his many critics, Fauci’s been singing a different tune for several months now, repeatedly imploring schools to go ahead and open because, according to the science, the threat of the virus being spread in schools is extraordinarily low as is.
“It’s less likely for a child to get infected in the school setting than if they were just in the community,” he said just weeks ago on MSNBC.
A disaster for Fauci’s credibility.
He’s been calling for schools to reopen for months, noting that spread among children is minimal
Now he’s saying they can’t open until Biden’s uber-political stimulus bill passes?
Science changes based on what’s on the Senate floor? pic.twitter.com/hTkNm3sbwP
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) February 14, 2021
His remarks come as schools face increasing pressure to stop listening to the widely panned grievances of teachers unions and start reopening schools.
Study after study after study keeps being published showing the disastrous effects that remote schooling has had on young children academically, mentally and physically.
“Pediatricians are warning that the coronavirus pandemic’s protracted disruption of in-person schooling, sports and other activities is leading to weight gain that could have long-lasting impacts on children’s health,” The Wall Street Journal reported this Sunday.
This weight gain is tied to both depression and drops in academic performance.
“Even kids in grammar school are getting depressed. They miss their friends. A lot of them aren’t doing as well academically. With depression also comes weight gain. They’re bored, and I think they’re comfort-eating,” Brittany Wilson, a New York physician assistant, said to the Journal.
These are the less harmful symptoms. The worst ones include potential death. Over in San Francisco, so many children are suicidal that the city’s attorney has been forced to sue the city’s own school district in an attempt to force a reopening.
“San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced last week he was taking the dramatic step of suing the city’s own school district, which has kept its classrooms closed nearly a year,” the Associated Press reported.
“In the motion filed Thursday in San Francisco Superior Court, Herrera included alarming testimony from hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area, doctors and parents on the emotional and mental harms of extended distance learning.”
One parent of a 15-year-old told the AP that she recently found her daughter “curled up in a fetal position, crying, next to her laptop at 11 a.m.” Another parent said her 7-year-old son has been experiencing “uncontrollable meltdowns that turn [the] whole house upside down.”
Sadly, teachers unions and their allies in the Biden administration don’t seem to care. Their only focus appears to be on the safety of union dues-paying teachers.
“For the science-and-truth president, this should be an easy lay-up of leadership to display: Go on national television and declare that you’d like to see America’s students back in classroom. Now,” The Hill’s Joe Concha noted in a recent column.
“Explain to the public why virtual learning is not only leaving kids further behind in their education but is also taking a toll on their mental and physical wellbeing,” he said. “Biden can promise the unions that improvements will continue to be made to school ventilation and sanitation system. But he should explain that we cannot wait months for these changes to be made.”
But he won’t do it. Nor will his administration. The closest the CDC has come to chastising teachers unions is by issuing new guidance last week urging schools to reopen. However, the guidance was accompanied with a recommendation that teachers begin being prioritized for vaccine shots — even over the elderly.
“State, territorial, local and tribal (STLT) officials should consider giving high priority to teachers in early phases of vaccine distribution,” the guidance reads.
It’d have been nice if the guidance would have at the very least included a stern demand that teachers in turn start prioritizing their students’ health and well-being instead of their own.