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Trump's Sociopathic Magical Thinking Will Ignite a Horrific Catastrophe if Schools Reopen In-Person

On July 16, according to The Washington Post, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made the dangerously ignorant claim that,

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“More and more studies show that kids are actually stoppers of the disease and they don’t get it and transmit it themselves, so we should be in a posture of — the default should be getting back to school kids in person, in the classroom.”

Her tag-team partner for bullying the reopening of schools based on magical thinking that threatens the health and safety of children, teenagers, their teachers and families is the Merchant of Death-in-Chief Donald Trump. He offered an equally perilously uninformed argument for reopening schools on July 23, claiming incredulously that “apermanent shutdown was never the strategy, which would ultimately lead to greater mortality and irreversible harm.”

If we once again are bullied into Trump’s magical thinking and DeVos’s ignorance, a cataclysm awaits us, compounded by the runaway infection caused by “reopening” the economy.

BuzzFlash warned that Trump’s blustering, threatening calls to “reopen the economy” would lead to a Coronavirus surge. Then on July 13, we urged the media to acknowledge Trump’s sociopathology in order to prevent a compounding catastrophe from reopening the schools, given the daily evidence that children of all ages (including infants) can get and transmit the disease and can become ill and even die from it. The health impact and transmission varies based on age, but no age is immune from the Coronavirus, including infants.

All one needs to do is to read the statistics from the Red States that are going along with the Trump's magical thinking to reopen schools that are the very states that are in the midst of record-setting COVID-19 spikes, hospitalizations and deaths. It appears the more adamant the pro-Trump governor is to spreading the virus in a mistaken notion that it is worth it to “reopen” the economy (when the surges are actually setting back a safe restart of the economy based on science), the more the very same governors are insisting that schools reopen despite their own statistics.

Take Governor Abbott of Texas, whose Attorney General is threatening school districts that he will prosecute them if they don’t open out of fear of spreading the Coronavirus. Doesn’t Abbott read his state’s own COVID stats?

Take a July 24th report from a Dallas TV station:

Dallas County officials announced Friday that 29 children have been hospitalized for COVID-19 during the first three weeks of July.

Over 1,450 children under 18 years old have been diagnosed with confirmed COVID-19 during that same time frame, officials announced.

A 5-year-old boy is the youngest to die in Dallas County in the COVID-19 pandemic. He had been critically ill in a hospital and had underlying health risk conditions, officials said Friday.

Remind you, that’s just from Dallas County for the first three weeks of July, without children being back in school yet.

Then there is the enthusiastic Trump cheerleader Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is boosting the reopening of Florida schools in the midst of a Coronavirus outbreak that places Florida, if it were a nation, in the top five countries for new COVID infections.

On July 27, HuffPost ran a story headlined, “Coronavirus Hospitalizations Of Youths Up 23% In Florida”:

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The state had 31,150 cases [of children infected] reported among people under 18 as of July 24, the Florida Department of Health disclosed Sunday….

Perhaps even more concerning is the spike in youth hospitalized with COVID-19 during that time period. The latest data shows 303 youth hospitalizations, up 23% from July 16. About one-third of those cases are in children 14-17 years old, followed by 67 cases among children under one [infants].

The data is at odds with the narrative President Donald Trump’s administration continues to promote that the disease has a negligible effect on school-aged children….

The overall rate of positive cases among youth in Florida is 14.4%, the state health department said Sunday. The World Health Organization has advised that governments track 14 consecutive days of a positivity rate below 5% before easing any virus-related restrictions.

Children with COVID infection may develop one or more serious offshoot medical problems, such as multi-system inflammatory syndrome. Also, we are still learning about this “young” virus, but there are many indicators that suggest it can cause long-term damage, including to the heart.

Looking at other nations, Israel offers an example of how catastrophic opening schools will be, given that the United States is still coping with a virus raging like wildfire. In a July 14 Daily Beast article entitled, “Israeli Data Show School Openings Were a Disaster That Wiped Out Lockdown Gains,” it states:

Israel’s unchecked resurgence of COVID-19 was propelled by the abrupt May 17 decision to reopen all schools, medical and public-health officials have told The Daily Beast….

According to the education ministry, 2,026 students, teachers, and staff have contracted COVID-19, and 28,147 are in quarantine due to possible contagion.

The magical thinking of Trump already has caused hundreds of thousands of unnecessary infections and tens of thousands of what were avoidable deaths. Now he with DeVos’s ulterior-motive of weakening the public school system is about to push us off the precipice of a disaster.

As we noted in our prior commentary on the dangers of reopening schools before the Coronavirus is under control, 1.5 million teachers fall into a high-risk category, (one quarter of teachers nationally) and many of them, when schools reopen, will be infected with COVID and die.

It is also worth noting how young people, particularly teenagers, can and do spread the virus into their families. On July 29, The Washington Post published an article, “Young people are infecting older family members in shared homes.” It warns, “High school and college-age children may expose teachers, parents and grandparents.”

Just yesterday, Anthony Fauci stated in an interview, "Children from 10 to 19 can transmit the virus to adults as well as adults can." In addition, there is anecdotal evidence of transmission outbreaks of children as young as those who attend daycare centers.

If we once again are bullied into Trump’s magical thinking and DeVos’s ignorance, a cataclysm awaits us, compounded by the runaway infection caused by “reopening” the economy.

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Mark Karlin
BuzzFlash