GOP’s death cult comes for the kids
There is no doubt that the pandemic has exacerbated parents’ fears about the well-being of their children. With typical parental anxiety now comes concerns about the latest delta variant of COVID-19 – which appears to spread more easily in children than the initial coronavirus outbreak – questions about whether their children will need to wear masks when they return to school. , and the expectation of a vaccine yet to be approved for children under 12 years of age.
Over a year ago, Andrew O’Hehir of Salon described the mad rush to reopen schools without vaccines and consistent safety standards as “a game of ‘Deer Hunter’ Russian roulette, played blindfolded in conditions of total chaos “. A year later, Donald Trump is out of the White House, but Republican and Democratic leaders are all rushing to reopen schools – even though children under 12 are still not allowed to be vaccinated despite an 84% increase in the number of children who contract COVID-19 last week only.
The United States on Thursday set a single-day record for the number of children admitted to a hospital with COVID-19, with 261 children, some under a year old, admitted to US hospitals according to figures set. update from HHS. For the anecdote, Patricia Darnauer, the administrator of the LBJ hospital in Houston, noted that an 11 month old girl had to be airlifted over 170 miles away Thursday because no pediatric hospital would accept it. “We looked at the top five pediatric hospital groups and none [had beds] available. ”As of Sunday, there were only six intensive care beds left in the Austin area, which has 11 counties.
Texas pediatricians took to Twitter to express concerns about the increase in COVID cases in very young children. Dr Heather Haq, a pediatrician at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, said she and her colleagues have been called upon to work mandatory overtime because the hospital also has “winter-level patient volumes of infants / all- severely ill children with “respiratory syncytial virus. .
“We are heading for dark times,” Bill McKeon, CEO of Texas Medical Center noted Last week.
“If kids don’t hide in schools, that will be a major problem,” Dr Christina Propst told the Houston KTRK in a plea. for mask mandates. Recently, Texas surpassed New York in terms of the total number of deaths statewide. But Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott has banned such mandatory precautions – even though we’ve seen big outbreaks of camps and daycares all summer long with the delta variant. And the inoculations are severely late in adolescents for whom the vaccine is available.
“No government entity can compel an individual to receive a Covid-19 vaccine administered under an emergency use authorization,” Abbott noted in an executive decree. “No person can be compelled by a court to wear or require the wearing of a face covering.”
The Texas Education Agency said last week that schools do not have to notify parents of positive cases; do not have to contact trace; and parents can choose to send a student to school if they have been in close contact with a positive COVID case. The agency argued that such precautions will not be necessary due to “data from 2020-2021 showing very low transmission rates of COVID-19 in a classroom and data showing lower transmission rates in a classroom. children than adults “.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone – students, teachers, staff, and visitors – wear masks in schools. But Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, called the CDC guidelines “inconsistent” and “unscientific” before banning their mandatory use indoors. Florida currently leads the country in children hospitalized for COVID-19, with 32 pediatric hospitalizations per day between July 24 and July 30 (a rate of 0.76 children hospitalized per 100,000 population), CDC data shared with The Tampa Bay-Times shows.
“Why would we have the government forcing masks on our children when many of these children are already immune from a previous infection,” asked DeSantis, notably not an immunologist, just as the Sunshine State broke a COVID record , reporting more than 21,000 new cases in residents under 19. He threatened to withhold funding for districts in need of masks. Like the New York Times reported during the weekend:
Mr DeSantis has been adamant in his approach to the pandemic, refusing to change course or impose restrictions despite uncontrolled spread and increasing hospitalizations – an approach that has forced him to take the biggest risk of his career rising policy.
DeSantis’ bigfoot mask warrants are now even called out by other Republicans. Senator Bill Cassidy, R-La., conceded on CNN Sunday, “I disagree with Governor DeSantis. Local officials should be in control here.”
It’s hard not to look at the actions of Republican leaders like Abbott and DeSantis in recent weeks and conclude that the GOP’s death cult has caught on to children. After all, the Republican response to the coronavirus has been, in all respects, a method of capitalizing on, not solving, the pandemic. The Delta variant – more aggressively prevalent in children – does not look different.
In Florida, the state school board supported DeSantis while using the pandemic to support charter schools with taxpayer funds, providing good for students who face mask requirements. See the plan here? Schools are becoming so dangerous, uninformative and inhospitable that parents are forced to push their children to private schools. It’s a playbook as old as the white flight from school desegregation under the guise of religious freedom. That’s why conservatives have spent the pandemic rehashing culture wars on new fronts – the so-called critical race theory in schools and trans students in sports – while preventing any action that likely would have meant a much safer return to in-person learning. grave. Republicans use children as political pawns – again – but this time it’s most definitely a matter of life and death.