It’s mid-August, summer's almost over, amazingly enough. Kids are going to resume their education not just in this country, but around the world. In Ireland, as kids began to return to school authorities faced a choice. Now, the most obvious course would be to blindly accept guidance from self-described public health experts in the United States. That's what many countries have done as they sought to come up with a COVID policy. And, following the United States would mean, among other things, forcing children as young as 2 to wear moist paper burkas for eight hours a day in the classroom. The other option would be to follow the science, and the Irish chose that course.
The Irish commissioned their own research on masks. And here's what they found: According to the Irish Health Authority, masking children in the classroom is not a legitimate medical precaution. It's child abuse. Masks can, "exacerbate anxiety and breathing difficulties." They impair "the development of human communication and language skills, particularly for very young children."
Now, we know from previous research the masks can also contribute to high levels of carbon dioxide in the human body, and that's especially true in children. Masks often become breeding grounds for dangerous bacteria. That's conclusive in the studies. It's possible that masks even affect facial development. In other words, there are very serious downsides to forcing masks on children. The question is, what's the benefit of doing it?
The Irish government looked into it and decided there is no benefit. Kids in Ireland are not getting sick from COVID. They are not transmitting COVID either. So in the end, based on the scientific research using the disappearing art of rational decision making, the Irish government refused to implement mask mandates in school.
It's an interesting story. Have you heard that story? Maybe not. Maybe telling you what's happening in Ireland could raise uncomfortable questions here, such as why are we doing the opposite in the United States? Why are we forcing masks on children? What data are we using to justify that decision?
Well, it turns out we don't have any data to justify it. As of today, there has not been a single comprehensive study in the United States showing that children should wear masks in school or that masks would help them or anyone else in any way. What do we have then?
Well, the closest thing we have to research is an op-ed that just ran in the renowned medical journal known as The New York Times, which you can buy from homeless people in Penn Station if you want to take a look. That article was written by two people from Duke University in North Carolina. Here's the headline. You may have seen it. "We studied one million students, universal masking works." That sounds definitive. A million students. That's a major study. We're impressed.
But there was one skeptical man out there, a journalist called David Zweig, who wanted to know a little bit more about it. So he decided to look into the numbers. And as he did, the first thing he noticed was that every single one of the one million students, Duke's researchers had, "studied" went to schools that already had mask mandates. Those are the only kids they studied. In other words, there is no control group.
Therefore, by definition, there was no way for the researchers to determine whether or not mass mandates work. That's the most basic scientific rule, if you tried something like that with your sixth-grade science project, the teacher would laugh at you and you'd get an F. But they did it anyway because they're Duke.
So David Zweig, with this in mind, reached out to the so-called researchers. Initially, they agreed to talk to him. Why wouldn't they? Then he asked them to explain why they had ignored schools that don't have mask mandates, schools in big places like Florida or Ireland or many other countries in Europe.
These schools, it turns out, have not seen a surge in COVID cases. You'd think that would be worth knowing. How is that not relevant data? If you're studying mask mandates, why in the world was that not included in this study? What kind of study was this?
Guess how the researchers responded? They didn't, they just ignored David Zweig. Is that science? No, but these are the people who now control your children's lives. Fake experts, fraudulent scientists, partisans in lab coats, people seeking terrifying levels of control over what was until recently a free country, people who are drunk with power, people who have lost all sense of proportion and restraint.
One school board member from Norman, Oklahoma, recently told us that Marsalis kids in classrooms could be committing murder.
NORMAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOARD MEMBER LINDA SEXTON: It's insane to send 5 and 6 and 7 and 8 all went through 11-year-olds that don't have a choice about the vaccine to sit in a classroom where people can spread a deadly disease and not even know they're sick. … That's just not OK for kids to commit murder by coming to school without a mask.
Your 4-year-old goes to school without a mask and is committing murder. Where's this all going, will it stop here? It hasn't so far. So if you want to know what our future may look like, take a look at what is happening on the distant fringes of the Anglosphere and the formerly reasonable Australia, a country all Americans love.
There is footage of decontamination tents that have been set up in people's yards in Sydney, Australia. The Australian military is now enforcing martial law. What's the justification for this? Because nine people died of COVID this summer, nine people in the entire nation of Australia. Australia's chief health officer is now commanding citizens not to speak to their neighbors. Speaking to other human beings is just too dangerous.
DR. KERRY CHANT: We need to limit our movements. We need to consider whenever we leave our house that anyone with us and anyone we come into contact with could convey the virus. So whilst it is in human nature to engage in conversation with others to be friendly. Unfortunately, this is not the time to do that. So even if you run into your next-door neighbor in the shopping center, don't start up the conversation. Now is the time for minimizing your interactions with others as we go about our daily lives. We do not come into contact with anyone else that would pose a risk.
It's humiliating, obviously, and it's cowardice in its lack of proportion, but it's also scary. It's human nature to communicate with other people. No. It's a human need to communicate with other people. When the government tells you who you can speak to and where when it tells you not to be friendly to your neighbor, you've crossed the line into totalitarianism. And that's where we're heading.
Many parents are now realizing this. They may not have thought it through, but they can feel it. Our friend Clay Travis just said so to his school board in Franklin, Tennessee. Here's part of what he said.
CLAY TRAVIS: I feel bad for all these people walking around in masks, engaging in cosmetic theater, thinking that they are making a difference against COVID. They aren't. Here's the truth. Our kids under 25 years old, one in a million chance that they are going to die a COVID, they are more likely to be struck by lightning. They are more likely to be struck by lightning. They are more likely to die of the seasonal flu. Have any of you ever mandated masks for the seasonal flu? Well, shame on you, because every kid in Williamson County schools has been under more danger from the seasonal flu every year than they are from COVID. I would tell every parent here, don't let your kids wear masks.
So, there you have a man reading the numbers, publicly available numbers as of today, anyway, on the risk of children dying from COVID, and the people to whom he's speaking sit blank-faced. They don't want to hear the numbers. They're not interested in the science.
But the interesting part of the clip is what you hear in the rest of the room, the crowd, they explode. That's how frustrated they are, they have had it. And they've had it because the schools to which they've entrusted their children now seem committed to hurting those children. And not just on COVID. Teachers demanding tribalism, demanding it as a matter of policy, telling students to judge one another based on their skin color.
And then academic standards, the whole point of school, are in free fall across the country, we can give you one hundred examples. Here's the latest. The state of Oregon has just announced it is scrapping proficiency requirements for math, science and reading comprehension. Why? Because equity. And equity means ignorance. No more learning. Learning is racist. We've reached Jonestown at this point. So you have to wonder how much longer parents will tolerate this, these are their children we're talking about, maybe not too much longer. This was the scene at a school board meeting in Loudon County, Virginia, yesterday.
PARENT: In March, my child had to watch a TED talk in English class, not on anything related to English, but rather oppression and acknowledging privilege. Any parent with a pulse knows that this is wrong.
PARENT: Why has public school become so mired in extremist politics and a permissive culture that seems to celebrate the latest popular fads like gender fluidity?
PARENT: And we oppose your efforts to impose critical race theory, an overtly racist doctrine that teaches our children to judge and categorize others based solely on the color of their skin.
PARENT: Why are you willing to sacrifice our children on the altar of the Cultural Revolution? Is it for popularity, for money to be on the right side of history?
PARENT: And you’ve done nothing except train teachers in cultural competency? What about our kids? Come on.
PARENT: Their job is to teach our kids math, science, biology, literature and that's it, not ideology.
PARENT: I equally dislike all of you. You all equally done the really bad job and maybe it's a good time to change something. Maybe start right now.
The status of the immigrants, they moved to this country, you've got to think, and a lot of cases because they wanted a better future for their children. And their children, show up at school and the teacher puts some on one side of the room and others on the other side. You're the Tutsis. You're the Hutus.
That's what they're doing, they're creating tribalism, they're exacerbating the worst instincts in people, and they're doing it to little kids. Is there anything darker than that?
One teacher in Loudoun County, Laura Morris, quit during yesterday's school board meeting.
LAURA MORRIS: I was told in one of my so-called equity trainings that White, Christian, able-bodied females currently have the power in our schools and that, quote, this has to change. Clearly, you've made your point. You no longer value me or many other teachers you've employed in this county. So since my contract outlines the power that you have over my employment in Loudoun County Public Schools, I thought it necessary to resign in front of you, school board. I quit. I quit your policies, I quit your trainings, and I quit being a cog in a machine that tells me to push highly politicized agendas on our most vulnerable constituents, the children. I will find employment elsewhere. I encourage all parents and staff in this county to flood the private schools.
Someday, if we make it through this, someone's going to write an amazing book about this moment and the atrocities being committed. We show you a tiny fraction, of course, the publicly available fraction of what's happening in our schools right now. But there's a lot going on and it's really sad and parents are just about over it.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson's opening commentary on the August 11, 2021 edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight."