Sixty million American children have been languishing in their rooms since spring, sitting in front of screens, learning nothing, isolated from human contact, in many cases driven to mental illness -- and there was no reason for any of that. The experts were wrong. They had no idea what they were doing. But the most amazing part is that they knew they were wrong when they did it, but they kept lying about it, even as American children began to kill themselves.
On Sunday, New York City officials all but admitted this when they announced the reopening of elementary schools fewer than two weeks after they were closed. From a medical standpoint, nothing has changed. New York didn't get an early shipment of the Pfizer vaccine. There wasn't some groundbreaking new research paper that revolutionized our understanding of the coronavirus. Parents had simply had enough and they forced Mayor Bill de Blasio to admit the obvious: This virus is not a threat to children.
As de Blasio put it, in that weird euphemistic way that dumb people speak, "We know that the health realities for the youngest kids are the most favorable."
Well, yes, we do know that. We've known it for a long time. We knew it when de Blasio shut down New York schools. And Dr. Anthony Fauci knew it, too, though he didn't say anything about it until this past Sunday:
FAUCI: Close the bars and keep the schools open, is what we really say. Obviously, you don't have one size fits all. But as I said in the past ... the default position should be to try as best as possible, within reason, to keep the children in school or to get them back to school. If you look at the data, the spread among children and from children is not really very big at all, not like one would have suspected.
Why is this just now occurring to Tony Fauci? Isn't his entire job to "look at the data"? Yes, it is, and yet somehow he never thought to do that. Over the summer, when the data look the same as they do right now, Fauci explained that he couldn't really say if kids should be allowed to go to school. It was "complicated." Except it wasn't complicated, neither then nor now.
In April, a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that school-aged children who get the coronavirus "develop only mild symptoms and typically recover within two weeks." In June, a study in The Lancet affirmed this, finding "COVID-19 is generally a mild disease in children, including in infants." Other studies found the exact same thing.
If you're looking for more evidence, check the death rates. In New Jersey, one of the hardest-hit states, not a single school-aged child has died from the coronavirus. Many children have died from car accidents and fires and drug overdoses and suicide. None have died from COVID-19. In California, home to 40 million people, a total of two people under the age of 18 have died from the coronavirus. According to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 123 Americans under the age of 18 have died from the coronavirus. That's 123 people out of a population of 328 million.
Didn't matter. We shut the schools anyway, crushing millions of kids and affecting their futures in ways we can't even understand at this point.
So the question is, why did we do this? To save the teachers. The teachers unions push this and their servants, the Democratic Party, obey. Of course they did; teachers unions are the single largest donors to the Democratic Party. So unionized teachers get to stay home, collecting checks for their nine-month-a-year jobs.
But what do the data say about this? Well, for teachers under the age of 50, and that's the vast majority of them, the odds of surviving a coronavirus infection are roughly 99.98%. For teachers under 70, the survival odds drop all the way to 99.5%. And by the way, if teachers do get sick, it likely won't be from teaching. Children appear not to spread the coronavirus, at leat not effectively.
We've known this for a long time. Back in May, researchers in Europe found "children do not appear to be drivers of transmission, and we argue that reopening schools should be considered safe, accompanied by certain measures."
Again, none of this is new. Tony Fauci, the data guy, knew it at the time and so did anyone in the news media who could read, which is still most of them. And yet they kept lying about it, all of them
What was this about? You already know the answer: Donald Trump. Trump, in this case agreed with the doctors. Therefore, the doctors had to be mocked and ignored. Here's what the president said about schools in July:
TRUMP: We have to open our schools, open our schools. Stop this nonsense, we open our schools.
As a scientific matter, that was sound policy based on sound data, but the media told us the exact opposite of that. One headline at CNN warned of "the very clear dangers of Donald Trump's push to reopen schools." Needless to say, Google didn't censor that as misinformation. Another headline called out "Donald Trump's mind-bending logic on school reopenings." Joe Biden's campaign didn't want to hear it, so the media didn't want you to hear it either.
The message couldn't be clearer: They're not your kids anymore. If they were your kids, you could make key decisions about their lives. But they're not. Your former kids belong to Tony Fauci now. He'll make the decisions about your kids in conjunction with the nation's übermom, Mrs. Nancy Pelosi.
In July, Pelosi told CNN the Trump administration was "messing with the health of our children" and claimed "going back to school presents the biggest risk for the spread of the coronavirus."
If that's not criminal, we may need to redefine what it means to commit a crime.
Sixty million school-aged children were affected by a decision that was wrong. Many of them have been hurt for life, but we just blow right past it and allow political leaders to blow right past it. What happens when you lock children in their rooms in front of screens and prevent them from experiencing human contact? Has Nancy Pelosi ever been asked that question? Has she ever wondered about the answer?
According to the CDC, a total of 522 children between the ages of five and 14 died of suicide in 2017. In that same age group, only 42 children have died from the coronavirus so far this year. What are those suicide numbers going to look like if we continue to take Nancy Pelosi's advice about the health of our children? Future years will reveal the whole picture, and you can be certain it will be horrifying.
Right now, with incomplete data, here's what we know. In St. Paul, Minn., 40% of all grades given this year have been "F"s. You can be certain they're grading lightly, but it's still double the normal amount of failures. In Fairfax County, Va., the number of middle and high school students with failing grades in two or more classes has increased by 83%. The number of students with disabilities who are failing two or more classes has increased by more than 100% in a lot of school districts. Huge numbers of kids never even registered for online classes.
Do you have kids? Do you know anyone who does? They're learning nothing.
If you want to know the health of a society, look at its young people. Look at its schools. These are obvious points that are being roundly ignored, and anyone who makes them is attacked for making them.
We're going to look back on this moment in shame.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson's opening monologue on the Nov. 30, 2020 edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight."