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American Academy of Pediatrics Undercuts POTUS on Reopening

July 11, 2020

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released a recommendation that every effort should be made to get students back to school because their prolonged absence from classmates is detrimental to their well being. Earlier this week, the POTUS convened a panel to discuss school reopening and it gave Dr. Sally Goza, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a chance to amplify her message:

“Being away from peers, teachers, and school services has lasting effects for children,” Goza said at the roundtable. “Although this will not be easy, pediatricians strongly advocate that we start with the goal of having students physically present in school this fall.”

Her comments echoed guidelines issued by the group in June, which said time away from school can lead to social isolation and make it harder for schools to identify learning deficits, child abuse, depression and other problems.

Dr. Goza undoubtedly realized that the POTUS and his administration would seize this message and use it as a linchpin for their argument to open school, which he did. What she didn’t expect was that the POTUS would threaten to withhold money from schools if they DIDN’T open, which is exactly what’s happened in the last couple of days. To her organization’s credit, they joined with teachers unions and administrators organizations in issuing a statement making it clear  that decisions on reopening “…should be made by health experts and local leaders” and emphasizing that reopening will require more money and the POTUS’ threatened cuts would  “…ultimately harm students.”

So far, the medical establishment has not taken sides on an issue that the POTUS WANTS to make into a binary political issue. The medical science community, unlike the political community, see no need to take sides. They prefer the idea of waiting until the facts are in so they can make a determination or, if the facts are not clear cut, erring on the side of public safety. Quick, easy and cheap solutions are unimportant to scientists… but politicians LOVE them. So we have a President who denies the existence of a deadly virus wanting to reopen schools as if the virus didn’t exist so we can get the economy back on its feet— an economy that was not serving voters well when it was “great” according to his assessment.

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