Written By: Anton Sawyer
Today I am going to break down the recent controversy surrounding children returning to school during a worldwide pandemic, and how the complete lack of scientific understanding held by the RNC is going to lead to a lot more sickness and death.
It certainly isn’t that difficult for someone with a level of self-awareness to know when they are out of their depth. I’ve never tried to change the oil in my car because I have absolutely no mechanical skills at all and am sure I would do more damage than good—this is the level of self-awareness I mean. I wish, I hope, I even … pray that the Republican National Committee will someday get this level of awareness when it comes to their deficiencies in understanding science. I could take an easy shot and say something like “it’s hard to take anyone seriously when it comes to science if they want to have the theory taught that an invisible man in the sky clapped his hands and created everything we see in seven days as fact”—but that would just be dismissive with no real substance.
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The biggest worry behind today's article stems from how the Republican Party has taken a very harsh stance on children and Covid when it comes to attending school; get them in school by any means possible. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think that the base reasoning behind what they are attempting to do is coming from a place of evil. Moreso, it’s from a place of simple opposition. I’ve written before how the GOP is against something simply because the Democrats support it—like cancel culture. In a prior article (which you can read here Cancel Culture Part 3: Baby Boomers Invented It, The GOP Is Perfecting It) I illustrated how it was the Baby Boomers and the GOP who invented the concept of cancel culture and how the GOP still adheres to many of those principles. Of course, whenever you hear a conservative pundit speak, they make it clear that the Republican party has always been against cancel culture in support of the Freedom of Speech. This is a moral argument, and so it’s a little difficult to pin down. When it comes to scientific data, numbers are numbers and results don’t care about your feelings. However, there is A LOT to be said about the way that information is presented and how it can be manipulated for personal gain.
American author and conservative pundit Alex Berenson went on the Clay Travis and Buck Sexton show in early August of 2021. When he spoke, it was with the utmost confidence, and only helped to bolster his complete lack of scientific understanding. The statements he did make show how distorted the GOP viewpoint is when it comes to science. “So vaccines are supposed to be permanent, right? That’s inherent in the name. They’re supposed to last 10 years, 20 years, a lifetime. It is abundantly clear these vaccines don’t meet that definition. Okay? They don’t work like traditional vaccines.” Yes, some vaccines have a more permanent feel to them, the polio vaccine for example. But to say that every single virus that attacks humans all acts the same way is absurd. To say that the influenza virus is the same as polio shows a complete lack of scientific understanding. The main argument I hear on conservative talk radio goes back to when Dr. Fauci said at the beginning that we didn’t need masks unless you were infected, and since both he and the scientific understanding of how Covid operates has changed, he’s changed that statement—including recommending the possibility of wearing two masks. Because of this change, many conservatives say he’s making it up as he goes along and should not be listened to due to his inconsistency. Viruses, bacteria, etc. all behave differently and morph over time. This is why there is a different strain each year when it comes time for flu shots. Using this stagnant methodology as scientific accuracy illustrated by the conservatives, this would mean that AIDS is actually “gay cancer.” During the same interview, Berenson made one thing very clear, the Covid vaccine is deadly. “[The Covid vaccine] is also much more dangerous than a flu shot. Anybody who looks at the data is gonna agree to that okay the side effects are off the charts compared to the flu shot.” Of course, when looking at the statistics, this is just flat-out false. According to the CDC, as of mid-July 2021 over 339 million vaccine doses had been given to 187 million people and only three deaths have been linked to the vaccine. The data on how many people die each year from the flu vaccine specifically is woefully underreported. The number of people infected each year by the flu, who died, who survived are available everywhere, but not much when compared to those who die from the vaccine itself. The most recent data I could find is from 2011. In searching the year 2011 on the CDC Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System website it was found that 51 deaths were caused by the flu vaccines. This means that the numbers show the flu vaccine is dangerous by more than 10-fold.
Even putting those numbers aside, the stark reality of where this virus is headed is becoming more and more clear. A report done by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association found that the Covid-19 virus is exploding in regards to children. In the last week of July 2021, About 72,000 kids tested positive for the coronavirus in the U.S. The saddest part about this is the fact that this number of cases are up from 39,000 that were reported the prior week. In light of this explosion of illness, you would think that public health and safety would be a top priority. You would be wrong. One of the most repeated, and definitely the sickest statements being made by the conservatives of America when it comes to Covid is that kids will get sick, but they won’t die. Because they won't die, it’s OK they return to school as soon as possible.
Republican Missouri Governor Mike Parson was interviewed in July 2021 and presented the viewpoint of the GOP pretty succinctly. “These kids gotta get back to school,” Parson said. “They’re at the lowest risk possible and if they do get COVID-19—which they will, and they will when they go to school—they’re not going to the hospitals, they’re not going to have to sit in doctors offices. They’re going to go home, and they’re gonna get over it and most of it all proves out to be that way if you look at the science of it.” This completely ignores the fact that these children have parents and families. Because of the ravages of Covid and its impact on everyone in the country, many generations and extended families are living together. So yes, it’s more than likely that a child getting Covid will not die, but it completely removes the fact that there are more vulnerable people in the home that can get sick and perish.
Another prime example of this “scientific forward-thinking” on full display came from the GOP poster-child Republican representative Marjorie Taylor Greene when she was confronted over the fact that a child in her district died from Covid-19 and the need for everyone to be vaccinated. A reporter asked her “Do you feel any responsibility for keeping people in Georgia safe? There are children, skinny people who have died of the coronavirus. Do you feel any responsibility to the people of Georgia?” Greene responded by laughing. She followed it up with a perfect non-answer. “You crack me up,” she said. “You know what? I think people’s responsibility is their own.” When asked about the laughter at the thought of her constituents dying, she responded by saying that she was not laughing at those deaths but at “the extent of ridiculous questions she was asking, trying to trap me.” Her responses contain so much of the disassociation of former political juggernaut Sarah Palin that it wouldn’t surprise me if Greene were the Vice President candidate during the 2024 presidential election. Her answer addresses none of the concerns of death and places the blame squarely on her supporters and not herself as a leader. When it comes to science and the GOP, this is the status quo.
One of the main points of science and scientific study is to prove yourself wrong. To find all the faults and flaws in a hypothesis to get to the truth. Whenever I write an article, this is the method I use. I will hypothesize and then look to debunk myself through research. This has caused several articles to come out incredibly different than I had originally thought. This is also the key piece to science that the GOP ignores. They “know” in their hearts that what they think and feel when it comes to science is fact, along with their thoughts on the Covid pandemic as well. I have no idea how to instill logic and reason outside of writing the statistics and exposing as many people to reality as I possibly can, but even I know that isn’t enough. I’m just hoping that the number of children and their family members dying will project the need to look at the realities of this pandemic, and not what is in the best interest of political expediency. As an American, I know this is all wishful thinking.
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