There is mounting evidence that COVID-related shutdowns had a negative impact on students, with Fortune magazine pointing to some of the worst average test scores in decades while mental health problems are rising.
Those facts explain why Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said he ” had nothing to do” with the decision to close school. Yet as FEE Stories contributor Jon Miltimore noted in a recent article, the evidence says otherwise.
Fauci: “I don’t want to use the word ‘mistake'”
Fauci made the claim this past Sunday during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” when host Jonathan Karl asked if it was a mistake “to see schools closed as long as they were.”
ABC News: “Was it a mistake, in so many states and so many localities, to see schools closed as long as they were?”
Dr. Fauci: “I don’t want to use the word mistake, Jon…They always come back and say, ‘Fauci was responsible for closing schools.’ I had nothing to do [with it].” pic.twitter.com/dyERywd2uW
— Jon Miltimore (@miltimore79) October 18, 2022
“I don’t want to use the word ‘mistake,’ Jon, because if I do, it gets taken out of the context that you’re asking me the question on,” the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases head responded.
“We should realize, and have realized, that there will be deleterious collateral consequences when you do something like that,” he continued.
“I ask anybody to go back over the number of times that I have said we’ve got to do everything we can to keep the schools open, no one plays that clip,” Fauci went on.
“They always come back and say, ‘Fauci was responsible for closing schools,'” he complained before insisting, “I had nothing to do [with it].”
Fauci publicly opposed Florida’s move to reopen schools
However, Miltimore pointed to a list of six instances compiled by journalist Jordan Schachtel in which Fauci either called for school closures or argued that schools should remain shut down.
In one example, Fauci slammed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in April of 2020 for suggesting that students needed to return to the classroom.
“If you have a situation where you don’t have a real good control over an outbreak and you allow children together, they will likely get infected,” Politico quoted Fauci as saying.
Fauci also pushed back on DeSantis’ contention that COVID is not a threat to the young, saying, “People under 25 have died of the coronavirus disease in the United States of America.”