Commentary: The media owes children an apology

COVID-19 did not crush kids; the CDC, White House, progressive technocrats, and especially teachers unions did.

Students take notes in an elementary school classroom. (Shutterstock)

The narratives pushed in media echo chambers about COVID-19, school closures, and mask mandates the last 27 months were flawed and extremely damaging.

In major newspapers and throughout television, the lone idea promoted was that schools should remain closed to supposedly protect children, even though we knew from the pandemic’s onset that the least at-risk group for serious illnesses were children.

Once vaccinations were available and government schools received billions of taxpayer dollars, some still remained shuttered, and where they reopened, even the youngest children were forced to mask and abide by deranged guidelines to “protect” them from infinitesimal risk.

Troublingly in a free country, anyone pointing out the serious harm such flawed policies inflicted on children was dismissed as a science-denier or desirous of killing grandpa.

Amid its third summer of coronavirus hype, the New York Times finally explored the devastating consequences the lengthy school closures had on kids’ development.

“American schoolchildren’s learning loss in the pandemic isn’t just in reading and math,” they admitted in part last month. “It’s also in social and emotional skills — those needed to make and keep friends; participate in group projects; and cope with frustration and other emotions.”

Reports show 95% of guidance counselors said their students were showing more signs of anxiety and depression than before the pandemic, and a similar percentage said students were having trouble regulating their emotions. A sharp increase in drug- and alcohol-related deaths also was found among children since spring 2020.

Now that the calamitous long-term consequences for America’s schoolchildren are clear, it’s also worth pondering why there has been no mention of the intrepid parent groups and right-leaning political leaders who consistently challenged the forced isolation of children and sought to avoid the pediatric mental-health crisis.

Relatedly, there’s been a similar whitewashing on mask mandate policies.

After arguing for mask mandates over two years, New York Times’ COVID analyst David Leonhardt recently confessed they do not work.

Indeed, states with restrictive mask mandates did no better than states without. In cities where neurotic mask use is more common, COVID has spread at a similar rate to free cities where few don facial diapers. Mask mandates in schools, as expected, did little to reduce the spread.

Until recently, however, if you posted facts along those lines on the internet, you risked being banned from social media platforms. When concerned parents protested at school board meetings against insidious mask mandates for school children, they were labeled domestic terrorists by the federal government.

Why did this all happen?

President Joe Biden is totally beholden to odious teachers unions, who wanted to close schools and receive paychecks in perpetuity. Our media also ignored evidence that the CDC allowed unions to dictate policies, like school closures, masking, and social distancing.

The public health cabal’s transparent campaign to silence voices that sought to minimize harm toward children should not be forgotten.

Even if late, we now read copious words akin to what conservative and sensible voices have written ad nauseam for over two years.

“The pandemic has amounted to a comprehensive assault on the American public school,” writers in the left-leaning Atlantic explained in a lengthy essay last week. “Kids missed out … while schools were closed: not just academic learning but also nutrition, and exercise, and friendship networks, and stable relationships with caring adults, and health care, and access to social workers, and even the attention, at home, of parents unburdened by the need to provide child care during school hours.”

COVID-19 did not crush kids; the CDC, White House, progressive technocrats, and especially teachers unions did. And instead of doing their job, the woke media pushed a partisan ideology and failed to scrutinize disingenuous public health bureaucrats who promoted narratives that harmed America’s children, possible irreparably.