Jared Kushner's Three 'R's For New School Year: Reading, 'Riting And 'Ronavirus
Kanye West's BFF Jared Kushner revealed during an interview on Sunday's "Face the Nation" that he can't wait to send his kids back to school to play hide and seek with the coronavirus. He has “no fear" for their safety. His emotion chip is only capable of mild consternation.
KUSHNER: Our school's not opening back up five days a week. I wish they would, but we absolutely will be sending our kids back to school, and I have no fear in doing so.
We should also point out that Kushner and Ivanka Trump's three kids attend the Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School in DC. There's one teacher for every six students at Milton, so that makes social distancing more feasible than your average public school.
Host Margaret Brennan wondered what made Kushner so confident, and the president's senior adviser dropped a load of fact-less “data."
KUSHNER: Children have a six times higher chance to die from the flu than from the coronavirus, so based on the data I've seen, I don't believe that's a risk.
Mother Jones said it wasn't “clear where Kushner got that statistic," but we assume he just pulled it out of his android ass. Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb came on later to stress that we need to stop comparing COVID-19 to the flu. They aren't the same thing. We don't know that much about COVID-19 or the longterm effects on those who recover. Also, there is a vaccine for the seasonal flu. There is no vaccine for COVID-19. Republicans are going to make us keep saying this until we're all dead.
WATCH: #JaredKushner tells @margbrennan he's "not concerned" about sending his young children #BackToSchool amid th… https://t.co/DBeP9wldgX— Face The Nation (@Face The Nation)1597589019.0
Schools were closed down early during the pandemic. Children don't work thanks to big government labor laws. They're also less likely to spray COVID-19 at each other in packed bars. This is arguably what's helped keep reported cases among children relatively low. That could change catastrophically within the next few weeks.
We don't know for a fact that all cases in children would be mild or asymptomatic. Playing Russian roulette with children's lives is barbaric. Children also don't educate themselves. When explaining why Chicago public schools would open fully remotely for the fall, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said we must consider the "entire eco-system of the school."
You've got teachers, you've got principals and you've got staff. Looking at Chicago, we have a number of teachers and support staff who are over 60. We know that those are still vulnerable population. We have a number of people that work in the school system who have underlying medical conditions. Comorbidity is still a real issue.
Brennan mentioned to Kushner that technically almost half of Americans have some form of comorbidity and probably won't just walk off COVID-19.
@IvankaTrump Send your kids to public schools and go for it!— Jennifer Rubin (@Jennifer Rubin)1594173725.0
If you think this through, you can see how even the Trump administration's supposed best case scenario is a potential disaster. Maybe children who contract COVID-19 will only suffer mild symptoms if any. This means they could spread the disease without parents or faculty knowing it. We don't have the infrastructure to test kids with immediate results. And it's laughable to imagine elementary school kids keeping their masks on all day and otherwise not behaving like the snot-ridden, disease vectors we know and love.
KUSHNER: This virus impacts different people in different ways.
COVID-19 has sickened at least 5.4 million Americans and killed 169,900. It's certainly a rich tapestry, but that doesn't support a return to normal, in-person schooling.
KUSHNER: We know a lot more now than we did.
Yes, we know our government is less able to contain COVID-19 than when schools were closed in March.
Brennan didn't challenge any of Kushner's lie-laced statements, which is journalistic malpractice. It's bad enough to give him an unfiltered platform to spout self-serving talking points, but he's promoting a false narrative that could kill a lot of people.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).