PA Congressman Says Kids Who Die From COVID Probably Had It Coming
Congressman Guy Reschenthaler is a son of Western Pennsylvania, a veteran, and "a leading conservative voice in the Republican caucus," according to his campaign bio. He's also an unrepentant asshole who shrugs off the deaths of children, who clearly had it coming.
Here's the Republican congressman explaining how it's totally fine that some kids died of COVID-19 and masks are the real danger to kids these days.
Rep. Reschenthaler tries to downplay the deaths of children from COVID saying many of them died with COVID not from COVIDpic.twitter.com/wSyyzqmv2v— Acyn (@Acyn) 1644343197
"There's two kinds of science. There's real science, and there's political science," he lectured. "The risk of severe disease from COVID-19 to healthy children is very low. This is real science. The CDC data shows that 863 total pediatric deaths related to COVID-19 have occurred since the beginning of this pandemic." (Wrong.)
"Many of these children had pre-existing, I'm sorry, had underlying medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19 than the average child, meaning many died with COVID, not of COVID," he smarmed. "But again, that's real science, not political science."
In fact, it is not. A child with obesity or asthma who dies from coronavirus would still be coming home to his parents at the end of the day if he'd never caught this disease. And while Rep. Reschenthaler is not a doctor and can be forgiven for not understanding the ins and outs of pediatric medicine — if not for spewing vile misinformation into the public record — he is a lawyer. So he knows damn well the legal principles of proximate and "but for" causation. But for COVID-19 a thousand American children would still be alive. Coronavirus was the proximate cause of the deaths the Pennsylvania congressman is so willing to shrug off.
More to the point, however, what kind of disgusting, eugenics bullshit is this? Is Rep. Reschenthaler actually suggesting that deaths of kids with comorbidities don't matter and we should take no steps to prevent them?
Well, yes, he is. Because his filthy comment came right in the middle of this anti-mask rant.
Across this country, Democratic governors and officials have forced children to wear masks in schools. They've done this without real concern for the social, developmental, and emotional consequences of their authoritarian actions. These are the actions of petty tyrants, people who don't care about real science. In start contrast, House Republicans, we've been consistent this whole time. We have been fighting for the rights of America's children and the American parent. That's why if we defeat the previous question, I will personally offer an amendment to the rule to immediately consider HR 6619, The Unmask Our Kids Act. This legislation would block education agencies from receiving federal funding unless schools are open for in-person learning and school mask mandates allow parents to opt out on behalf of their children.
Let's ignore for the moment the clanging hypocrisy of the party of local control and small government attempting to micromanage local school boards, because there's so much else here.
The "real science" the congressman touts has found no "social, developmental, and emotional consequences" for mask wearing at school in kids over 3. They will be fine. At another point in his speech, Reschenthaler misstated the risk of transmission from children to adults, as a means of vanishing away the danger to teachers from unmasked, unvaxxed kids. But lying about the risks from masks and to teachers isn't enough.
Reschenthaler's position is only tenable if your baseline assumption is that the lives of those kids with underlying medical conditions have no value whatsoever, and thus they have no right to expect reasonable accommodations from their fellow students to allow them to access public education. Because the cost to any individual student of having to wear a mask is negligible — that's why Republicans have to inflate it into a gross assault on a parent's right to raise his child as he sees fit. But the cost to any immunocompromised child may be life and death. And that's a price Rep. Reschenthaler is perfectly willing to pay.
But there's one thing this jackass didn't lie about, and that is the GOP's consistent position here. Even before the vaccines were widely available, they were braying to let their unmasked kids back in school to spew droplets all over their teachers and classmates. Because it was always more important to make a political point than to do the bare minimum to care for their fellow Americans, much less get past this pandemic.
Once a sociopath, always a sociopath. Ah, well, fuck them kids.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.