Health professionals nationwide released statements in a Tea Party Patriots Action Second Opinion Project email on Thursday that they believe schools should reopen and that it is the safest option for kids.
The consensus among the physicians, that kids would benefit academically, socially, and health-wise from schools reopening this fall, echoes a statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released on July 10 addressing the issue of schools reopening in the fall.
“We recognize that children learn best when physically present in the classroom. But children get much more than academics at school. They also learn social and emotional skills at school, get healthy meals and exercise, mental health support and other services that cannot be easily replicated online.”
The Tea Party Patriots Action groups is a national advocacy group whose aim is to encourage civic engagement, and its The Second Opinion Project is designed to accrue opinions from health professionals about the coronavirus pandemic in America.
Children’s physical presence in school is “critical to [their] normal, healthy development — socially, physically, and emotionally,” according to Mark McDonald, M.D., an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist based out of Los Angeles, CA. He additionally explained that shutting down schools and isolating kids from each other would “[guarantee] significant emotional and physical illness” for these students.
Another doctor, David G. Lang, an emergency room physician in Stillwater, MN, explained that it is highly unlikely that children would even contract coronavirus, “The data show that children have very little if any risk from coronavirus and are generally not a vector for transmission for children or adults.” He also added that there is “no medical justification” for shutting down schools and that not reopening would be “an unmitigated disaster.”
The AAP notably walked back their original statement recently, adding to it that reopening must be pursued “in a way that is safe for all students, teachers and staff.” The statement additionally said science, public health agencies, and advice from health experts must drive the push to reopen schools in the fall, not “politics.”
An additional supporter of the policy to reopen schools is Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who told Martha MacCallum of Fox News on Wednesday that “it is not acceptable for schools not to reopen” this fall.
DeVos added that “education is an essential function,” explaining that, “schools are essential, teachers are essential, kids have got to get back in school…”