Clearly, anyone who thinks school closures are doing great harm to children is just playing politics. That's why publications on the right, such as NPR, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the New Yorker, The Atlantic, and CBS News have all chimed in to support it.
NPR article 1 - in which they have the audacity to suggest that schools are not contributing to spread and that "going to school is really vital for children." What a Trumpian statement.…
NPR article 2 - in which they relay a vast right-wing conspiratorial talking point that 3 million children have gone missing amidst the pandemic, with school closures as a culprit. Is this responsible journalism, NPR?…
GOP squawkbox Washington Post: "Researchers say that in some cases, closing schools, and leaving children in the care of adults who do not force them to wear masks or socially distance, may put them at higher risk of contracting and spreading the virus."…
The alt-right New York Times, quoting an expert from Hillsdale -- err, Boston University: "The more and more data that I see, the more comfortable I am that children are not, in fact, driving transmission, especially in school settings."…
The New Yorker, whose conservative readership surely lapped it up, told the heartbreaking story of one inner-city Baltimore student and gave a history of the importance of public education to oppressed classes such as women and minorities:…
The Atlantic, which is just one logical step from QAnon, argues here that European children have been in school all fall and American children haven't because of something called "the culture war." Hmm.…
CBS, which has replaced FOX News in the conservative pantheon, calls this piece about 7,000 missing kids in Hillsborough County, FL "journalism.' Way to push the narrative, guys!…
But remember: If @BetsyDeVosED is advocating for it, then it must be bad. Don't listen to her or these dangerous publications who are attempting to usher in fascism by educating children in person. Schools can't open because of safety. Wait, no, because of funding. Or, umm...

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More from @malkusm

25 Nov 20
There are so many problems with this that I don't know where to begin.
1. No evidence is presented that infections are reduced by keeping schools closed. That's because there is no such evidence.
2. The number of children infected by COVID-19 is as irrelevant as the number infected by the flu - a number that we've never known, despite its higher risk of both death and long-term effects to children.

What matters is: Are kids transmitting to adults, to teachers?
3. The answer to that is universally "no."
Many studies, such as this one, show that children transmit the virus to other children well, but to adults on a much more limited basis.…
Read 10 tweets
17 Nov 20
THREAD: At the risk of beating a dead horse, I thought I'd compile all of the recent data and evidence associated with schools:
- Are they safe?
- How are other countries handling them?
- What are the costs of school closures?

OK, let's go!
1/ In an email to families, Nashville school director Dr. Adrienne Battle warned that schools may return to virtual learning for elementary students.
But she notes that "Nearly all the [MNPS] cases have been contracted outside of the classroom or school."…
2/ This echoes the findings of researchers & health authorities in the US & internationally.
Even Dr. Fauci has acknowledged that as of mid-Oct, despite 30 mil kids in US schools, "there has not been an indication" that this was driving community spread.
Read 20 tweets
15 Oct 20
1/ I earnestly looked into this, because I wanted to know how they arrived at these results.

"[B]ased on predictive models, COVID-19 impacts could be lessened by up to 47% if a majority of people wear masks."

Oh, boy, predictive models? I thought we'd learned our lesson here.
2/ "Predictive model" here is a fancy way of saying "our results are based on parameterized inputs, not empirically observed data."

Still, let's give them the benefit of the doubt, shall we? Here's the paper. Let's dive in!…
3/ As expected, the model is based on parameters derived from other literature.
On masks:
"We chose a conservative non-medical mask efficacy, eM = 20%, within the estimated range for reducing disease transmission during interactions between susceptible and infected individuals."
Read 17 tweets
14 Oct 20
Thanks, Meghan, for covering tonight's board meeting. I appreciated the opportunity to meet with concerned parents and teachers beforehand, and to lay out some of the facts surrounding the costs of school closures for the board.

References to statements I made follow (THREAD).
Count/list of Texas school districts who have announced an end to in-person learning, and selected statements from school districts which did so. Thanks @therealarod1984 for compiling and staying on top of this.
I made two references to independent studies of absenteeism in schools and the widening gap between students in affluent districts versus those in poor/impoverished districts. Here is the first, from the Dallas Morning News, covering 80 districts.…
Read 8 tweets
9 Sep 20
Hey, what ever happened to the "COVID kids develop Kawasaki disease" storyline that was used to terrify parents back in April or May?

Well, the CDC didn't forget - they published a report on August 4 on the... wait for it... *565* total cases in the US.…
Through September 3, there have been about 515K cases of COVID-19 in children.

There are roughly 55 million school-aged children in the US.…
So, to recap:

- Less than 1% of all school-aged children in the US have tested positive for COVID;

- Of those, about 0.1% developed Kawasaki-like disease (MIS-C);

- Of THOSE, only 1.8% (10 total persons) died.

So, I wonder why you never heard these numbers?
Read 5 tweets
22 Aug 20
Something that people have a hard time grasping:

Taking COVID-19 seriously and demanding transparent, accountable, science-based government are not mutually exclusive.

I'd demand answers to questions about our policy response even if the death toll were 100x what it is today.
Good public policy should:
- Properly assess the risk and the benefit of action
- Properly assess the cost of each action & weigh it against the benefit
- Be clearly communicated to the public, including specific goals
- Be non-arbitrary (i.e. grounded in logic, facts, relevant data)
- Account for ALL stakeholders, i.e. all members of society (rich, poor, young, old, etc)
- Be re-evaluated regularly as part of a discussion involving the public (not by decree)
Read 4 tweets

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