Are you sitting down? If not, do.
A self-described progressive journalist who writes for The New York Times says President Donald Trump was right about keeping schools open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump right? That’s right.
Times opinion columnist Nicholas Kristof, who has won two Pulitzer Prizes and often appears on the liberal news network CNN, wrote a piece Wednesday headlined “When Trump Was Right and Many Democrats Wrong” shortly after New York City officials announced schools would be shutting down again.
“Some things are true even though President Trump says them,” Kristof opened. “Trump has been demanding for months that schools reopen, and on that he seems to have been largely right. Schools, especially elementary schools, do not appear to have been major sources of coronavirus transmission, and remote learning is proving to be a catastrophe for many low-income children.”
“Yet America is shutting schools — New York City announced Wednesday that it was closing schools in the nation’s largest school district — even as it allows businesses like restaurants and bars to operate. What are our priorities?” Kristof asked, later adding that shutting down schools “should be the last resort.”
Kristof says he’s been writing since May about the importance of keeping schools open, and “initially the debate wasn’t so politicized. But after Trump, trying to project normalcy, blustered in July about schools needing to open, Republicans backed him and too many Democrats instinctively lined up on the other side. Joe Biden echoed their extreme caution, as did many Democratic mayors and governors.”
The writer blames Democrats. “So Democrats helped preside over school closures that have devastated millions of families and damaged children’s futures. Cities such as Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., have closed schools while allowing restaurants to operate.”
Kristof also writes that Europe has reopened schools with little problem.
“In both Europe and the United States, schools have not been linked to substantial transmission, and teachers and family members have not been shown to be at extra risk (this is more clear of elementary schools than of high schools). Meanwhile, the evidence has mounted of the human cost of school closures,” he writes.
Kristof’s claims are borne out by facts. More than 1 million youngsters have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as of Nov. 12, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) revealed on Monday. That number represets 11.5% of all cases.
“Since the start of the pandemic, 133 children have died, meaning the fatality rate has fallen to 0.01 percent,” The Daily Mail reports.
The AAP told Kristof that schools provide much more than learning for children.
“Children learn best when physically present in the classroom,” notes the American Academy of Pediatrics, Kristof writes. “But children get much more than academics at school. They also learn social and emotional skills at school, get healthy meals and exercise, mental health support and other services that cannot be easily replicated online.”
“Let’s follow Europe: Close bars, and try harder to keep schools open,” Kristof concludes.
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