Keeping schools closed has hurt our children

By John J. Duncan Jr.

I very seldom read the New York Times, because its editors do not limit their left-wing propaganda to the opinion pages but spread it throughout the paper.

So, I have to admit that I was shocked when the Times ran a column on February 24 by Nicholas Kristof about how much harm has been done to millions of children by keeping our schools closed.

Kristof is certainly very liberal on almost everything, so I wonder if the editor in charge of his column actually read all of it before it was published.

It certainly didn’t follow the standard left-wing line.

Kristof wrote that “the educational losses are disproportionally the fault of Democratic governors and mayors who too often let schools stay closed even as bars opened.”

He added that “the blunt fact is that it is Democrats who have presided over one of the worst blows to the education of disadvantaged Americans in history.”

In my Focus column of Dec. 7, entitled “Our children are at risk,” I quoted experts from both the St. Paul (MN) and Fairfax county (VA) school systems stating that all children, but especially disadvantaged and disabled students were being harmed by those closures.

I pointed out that children were in far more danger riding in cars than they were sitting in classrooms.

Every death is sad, tragic, or even horrible, but there has been a tremendous over-reaction to this virus.

The overwhelming majority of our people have not caught the virus, and most who have caught it have had very mild or very minor problems.

The grim milestone of 500,000 deaths amounts to less than two-tenths of one percent of the U.S. population.  And the CDC said a few months ago that 94% of so-called covid deaths have been with co-morbidities.

In other words, these deaths were just as likely, or possibly even more so, to have been caused by heart failure, pneumonia, diabetes, or even a version of the flu.

Simple old age has also been a major cause with one country I read about in which 90% of the covid-19 deaths were in people over 80.

On Feb. 10, there was a report in World Net Daily that said coronavirus numbers had been inflated by 1600%.

The survival rate of the very few who catch this virus under the age of 21 is 99.97% and around 99% for those under 60, which is the great majority of teachers.

Nicholas Kristof wrote: “Millions of American schoolchildren will soon have missed a year of in-person instruction, and we may have inflicted permanent damage on some of them, and our country.

He quoted the British Medical Journal which editorialized that “closing schools is not evidence based and harms children.”

I and my brother and sisters are all products of public schools.  My grandmother taught for 40 years in Scott county and my sister Beverly for 30 years in Knox county.  My four children did either all or most of their education in public schools.

But the teacher’s union have done a real disservice to the teaching profession by becoming an arm of the Democratic party and by making it appear that a significant number of teachers did not want to go back to the classrooms and just wanted taxpayer-paid vacations.

Teachers who don’t want to teach should not be paid and should get out of the way of those who do want to teach.

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