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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, June 22, 2024

Fauci and Weingarten have destroyed American schooling

School closures and mask mandates have severely impacted learning in the U.S. for the foreseeable future.

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Fauci is pictured in 2016.

COVID-19 has forever changed the world. Many people have fallen victim to the virus, with many of them dying as a result. Children were sent home from school and didn’t return for many months. Former President Donald Trump’s initial response to the virus was certainly not adequate, yet there were a couple of bright spots, namely Operation Warp Speed. The products of this crucial initiative, Moderna's and Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccines, were handed to President Joe Biden when he was inaugurated in January 2021. However, most COVID-related deaths have occurred under Biden’s presidency. This was due to the Biden administration abandoning many COVID-19 protocols and the mainstream media pushing for a ‘return to normal.’ Biden further failed to provide resources like masks and tests. Biden had all the tools but still couldn’t act in the best interests of the country.

Aside from those who have sadly lost their lives due to COVID-19, the group that has suffered the most are children. Learning loss has crippled America’s students. Incalculable evidence shows that school closures have and continue to negatively impact students. For example, in its fall 2023 report, “The State of the American Student,” the Center on Reinventing Public Education wrote that COVID-19 continues “to derail learning, but in more insidious ways.” It added that things are far from normal, despite students being back in school now. The CRPE notes that, in addition to learning loss, school closures exacerbated crises plaguing America: Threats of physical violence and instances of chronic absence are on the rise. Test scores have similarly deteriorated: According to the Wall Street Journal, the national average ACT score for 2022 graduates was 19.8, the lowest data point since 1991. The drop in scores is apparent in younger students as well. Math and reading scores for 9-year-old U.S. students decreased by seven and five points respectively between 2020 and 2022. The WSJ’s Scott Calvert further states that “learning loss generally is worse in districts that kept classes remote longer” and “effects [have been] most pronounced in high-poverty areas.”

These staggering statistics demonstrate one conclusion: Randi Weingarten and Dr. Anthony Fauci jointly destroyed American schools and schoolchildren. Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, attempted to set the record straight regarding her stance on the return to in-person learning during her congressional testimony in April 2023; however, the only takeaway from her appearance before Congress was her evasive, sometimes contradictory statements. On striving to return to in-person learning, Weingarten said, “we spent every day from February on trying to get schools open.” However, she omitted several salient points. For example, she failed to mention her prior description of the Trump Administration’s campaign to reopen schools in fall 2020 as “reckless,” “callous” and “cruel.” “Lockdown lobbyists” like Weingarten must be held accountable for derailing American education and attempting to cover it up via revisionist history.

Unlike Weingarten, who by all accounts remains in denial, Dr. Fauci introspected recently and admitted some of his failures during his time as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. For example, Dr. Fauci testified during a closed-door testimony before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic that the six-feet social distancing rule “‘sort of just appeared’ without a solid scientific basis.” The WSJ Editorial Board argued that government officials, despite not having substantial scientific evidence, nevertheless promoted the rule because “they didn’t trust Americans to understand scientific nuance or, for that matter, anything.” In his testimony, Dr. Fauci also conceded that vaccine mandates “‘could increase vaccine hesitancy in the future,’ according to Chairman Brad Wenstrup.” Despite these admissions, Dr. Fauci still contended that policy decisions were made independent of his perspective. However, the WSJ Editorial Board argues that the liberal media bandwagon pressured policymakers to side with him and to enact policies in accordance with his views.

Weingarten and Dr. Fauci, 66 and 83, appear to lack the wisdom traditionally associated with experienced elders. There is a grave lack of accountability for both Fauci and Weingarten. Each admitted, in some way or another, that they improperly handled COVID-19 in the context of U.S. schools. They had the nerve to share their gratuitous and unsubstantiated perspectives with the American people. They will never admit that in-person schooling and prioritized vaccination for teachers was a better option for combating COVID-19. Their conduct has resulted in the U.S. education system’s complete devastation.

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