Tuesday, April 4, 2023

U.S. prioritized adults over kids with school shutdowns, experts say: ‘Worst public health decision’; House COVID Committee demands info on input Biden allies gave CDC on school closure guidelines, and other C-Virus related stories

AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File
U.S. prioritized adults over kids with school shutdowns, experts say: ‘Worst public health decision’:
The U.S. failed to evaluate the harm of lost learning versus the coronavirus when it closed schools during the pandemic and fell behind Europe in getting children back into the classroom even as leaders tried to reopen bars and gyms, experts told House investigators Tuesday.
Dr. Tracy Beth Hoeg, a consultant epidemiologist and practicing doctor in California, said the result was the “worst public health decision we will see in our lifetimes” as children fall behind in academic achievement, school absenteeism rises and fewer students seek higher education.
“There was an implicit understanding across Europe that children must have a safe, happy environment to return to before parents can return to work. Where was that sentiment in the U.S.?” she told the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. “We have known from the spring of 2020 from international data that we should keep schools open, as Europe did, yet we chose to risk our children in an attempt to protect adults.”
Witnesses said school leaders knew early on that COVID-19 deaths overwhelmingly involved the elderly and the virus posed a low risk to young people, but they feared the political consequences from powerful labor unions who put instructors’ demands first.
“Let us be honest: Schools stayed closed primarily because the teachers unions in our country have enormous political power and parents do not,” said Virginia Gentles, director of the Education Freedom Center at the Independent Women’s Forum. --->READ MORE HERE
House COVID committee demands info on input Biden allies gave CDC on school closure guidelines
GOP lawmakers tasked with investigating the COVID-19 pandemic response are demanding details of conversations about school closures — especially the influence that unions and other Biden administration allies had on the controversial guidance.
The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic fired off more than a dozen letters to agencies and labor groups Tuesday, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
In one letter sent to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, committee Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) questioned the input the health agency received from the AFT on its Feb. 12, 2021, COVID-19 school reopening guidance.
The AFT is the second-largest teachers union in the US and one of the Democratic Party’s most reliable donors.
The panel is “concerned about the potential for undue influence of non-governmental groups on CDC scientific guidance,” Wenstrup wrote, noting the possibility that the Biden administration prioritized “teacher unions over students” when weighing whether to reopen shuttered schools.
“Even as reliable health data became available, instead of prioritizing the health and education of America’s children, the Biden Administration prioritized its political allies’ desires,” Wenstrup argued.
The committee chairman, a doctor in his own right, notes that the AFT “is a political union, not a professional scientific or medical organization.”
“Yet, CDC permitted the AFT to edit the Operational Strategy prior to its release,” the GOP lawmaker said. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

5 Takeaways From House Hearing on COVID-19 School Lockdowns

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USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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