House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is at the forefront of those on the left opposing President Donald Trump’s push to reopen schools this fall, claiming that it puts students and teachers in unacceptable danger.
A top doctor, however, has dismissed Pelosi’s objections as unmoored “hysteria” that has reached a “ludicrous” level, arguing that children are at the least risk of contracting and spreading the new coronavirus and that reopened schools around the world have not become hotspots for outbreaks, Breitbart reported.
Pelosi slams DeVos
It was on Sunday during an appearance on CNN‘s State of the Union with host Dana Bash that Pelosi, immediately following an interview between Bash and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, accused the secretary of “malfeasance” and “dereliction of duty” for pushing for schools to be reopened.
She characterized the whole movement to reopen schools as “appalling” and further accused the Trump administration of ignoring “science” and of “messing with the health of our children.”
But Dr. Scott Atlas, formerly the chief of neurology at Stanford University Medical Center and currently a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, saw things differently, as “science” — including a recent research study out of Germany — has shown that the vast majority of children will be just fine in a school setting despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Doctor: Objections “completely wrong”
Dr. Atlas addressed Speaker Pelosi’s comments on Monday during an appearance on Fox News‘ The Story with host Martha MacCallum, specifically Pelosi’s “completely wrong” claim that reopening schools presented the “biggest risk for the spread of the coronavirus.”
“I’m not sure how many times it has to be said, but the risk of children from this disease and the fatality [rate] is nearly zero,” Atlas explained. “The risk of children for a significant illness is, quote, far less from the seasonal flu. … This is totally antithetical to the data.”
A moment later, Atlas said, “Obviously, we know this by now, it’s been confirmed all over the world, children rarely transmit the disease to adults.” When pressed about the persistent counterargument from the left that teachers could become sick due to exposure from their students, the doctor replied, “But those are people that obviously either don’t know that data or have a refractory to learning themselves, because the facts say otherwise.”
Contrary to science
Dr. Atlas went on to decry what he labeled the “hysteria” evidenced on the left by those who refuse to consider reopening schools and proceeded to explain his belief that continued closures could actually do more harm than good.
“The problem here and the biggest point of all [is] I never hear anyone talk about the harms of closing schools,” the doctor said, according to Fox. “The harms are against the children. Anyone who prioritizes children would open the schools and that’s just counterfactual to say … we’re at risk here.”
He argued that kids need social engagement with others to learn basic skills and noted that a large proportion of children first learn that they need glasses or hearing aids, and that it is where most cases of child abuse in the home are discovered.
Dr. Atlas pointed out that schools all over the world have reopened with minimal issues and claimed that he has been contacted by individuals across a range of interests and professions who “are stunned that we are willing to just simply destroy our children on some bizarre notion that’s completely contrary to the science.”