President Trump’s strong-arm tactics relating to education are inappropriate and immoral. For political purposes, the president has contrived ways to get Americans to discount the risks relating to the pandemic in the educational sector.
Exacerbating the situation is the poor reporting by health sources and the mass media. Are these groups simultaneously trying to influence the political landscape? For weeks this blog has demanded to know the most relevant statistics about the deadly virus. For instance, the media continues to emphasize the number of new cases (which are related to the increased number of tests) and ignores the more important statistic of deaths of healthy young people (supposedly they are very rare).
To reiterate, are healthy young people dying, or does the virus seek out the aged and the physically impaired for the most part? With accurate information, discussions about opening and closing aspects of American life could be made more effectively.
Trump has decided to focus on schools, all of them, Kindergarten through graduate school by threatening state leaders and educators who are concerned about the well being of their constituents. As mentioned above, the stats are not conclusive, so decision-makers must decide without full information. How can the president penalize anyone for taking a conservative approach when it involves our children, and our future?
Opening public schools in August and September is one of the most frightening propositions. Millions of children are at risk. Many of them have parents and grandparents who are vulnerable. Thousands use public transportation or buses filled to capacity to commute to school. The largest populations of students are in urban centers where population density makes it wise to teach remotely, so many classes will be online. This is advisable, at least for the short term or until the virus shows signs of ebbing.
And what about the thousands of teachers who would be put at risk; there are quite a few who are vulnerable because of age and unaffiliated medical conditions.
In college and gradate school, Trump is trying to impede visas for international students unless they take in-person classes. (Note: Just yesterday afternoon, Trump apparently abandoned this tactic.) Most colleges are shying away from crowded classrooms in creative ways. But many classes will still be taught face to face. This will endanger students, teachers and the support staffs. Why not defer actual classroom work until the stats are more favorable. And why is Trump so insistent? Is it because of the election?
The response from leaders, decision makers and health officials has been disappointing. This is not to say anything condescending about first responders. A president on the ropes is harassing our leaders and decisions makers. His tenure is on the line and he’s prepared to go all in to be reelected, even if innocent Americans will be subjected to a deadly disease. It’s shameful.
Health officials have wasted decades and trillions of dollars not focusing on influenza and it existential impact on societies around the world. These experts know new strains are brewing constantly, but they chose to focus elsewhere. What could be more important than stopping a pandemic?