COVID-19 lies go viral
Beware of three widely circulating COVID-19-related lies and the partisan motives behind them. These lies are dangerous to your children and how you cope with this virus.
Lie No. 1: "The United States' response stands out as among the worst of any country." House Majority Whip James Clyburn leveled that charge, as he kicked off a hearing Friday into the virus.
Don't buy it. A staggering 183,639 Europeans have died from the virus as of Monday. Deaths per capita have been far higher in the U.K., Spain and Italy than in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins. After a lull, cases are spiking in several European countries.
That hasn't stopped New York Times columnist Paul Krugman from asking, "Why Can't Trump's America be like Italy?" Is he crazy? A patient with the coronavirus has faced three times the risk of dying from it in Italy as in the U.S., Johns Hopkins data indicate.
Lie No. 2: Clyburn accused the administration of "rushing into reopening the schools" against the " advice of public health experts." Sorry, but experts want schools to reopen.
At the hearing, expert witnesses Anthony Fauci from the National Institutes of Health and Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were emphatic. Redfield itemized the dangers -- delayed learning, social isolation, undetected child abuse and even adolescent suicide -- from school closings. And he called attention to his agency's blueprint for reopening schools safely, down to how to space the desks and handle lunchtime.
The CDC reports that COVID-19 poses a smaller risk to children than ordinary flu, for which schools never close. And children under age 10 are unlikely to infect family members, based on data from Switzerland, Iceland, and South Korea.
The American Academy of Pediatricians and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine are urging that at least grades K-5 reopen. These are where remote learning is the least feasible and infecting family members is unlikely.
Contrary to this science, the Democratic Party and teachers' unions are demanding schools stay closed. They're holding kids and parents hostage to defeat Trump in November. And, of course, get paid for staying home.
A New Zealand study found that infected students didn't infect their teachers. Yet, New York City teachers are taking to the streets, marching with coffins and skeletons. They're frauds.