Okay, I have been doing posts here-n-there with a montage of recent articles about the Covid-1984 gang and what I call “vaccine wars.” In this edition I will start out with a fact check of Facebook’s (FB) “fact check” of a linked article. This is the article with a slight excerpt, followed by my fact check (with a couple additional article links in it for my readers here). The article is titled, “COVID-19 Vaccines: Scientific Proof of Lethality,” and all it is is links to journal articles or papers by specialists calling for caution in whatever aspect they studied of the vaccines. Some are mild observations, others are potentially lethal. But they link mainly to medical journal articles.
FACT-CHECKING FACEBOOK FACT-CHECKERS
Here is the “Fact Check” — on my site’s wall they blurred the links graphic, and when you press “See Why” it brings you to a pop out window where you can link to the article refuting what you (I) put on your FB wall:
Here is my own fact/fact check” if you will. Again, I will add articles for my readers to have more resources:
FACEBOOKsays FALSE: because clinical trials under emergency use authorization showed them to be safe.
Firstis that the trials were not nearly as long or under years long watch before fully approved, they were rushed. (CNN | WEB MD | HISTORY CHANNEL)
And nothing says “we trust these products” like not being able to sue or be compensated for severe side effects (CNBC | NEWS18)
Two, the FDA has actively tried to block the “clinical trials” paperwork and studies from becoming public.
IN FACT: in November of 2021 the FDA has asked a federal judge to give them 55 years to release data related to the Pfizer COVID vaccines (ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS); and later Pfizer ditched 55-years and asked for 75 years of secrecy (WASHINGTON EXAMINER)
And I will add a third. We do know that there have been many — publicly verified — issues with perfectly healthy people on a sports field that just drop dead or healthy young persons within days of the vaccine having major medical issues. One example is a young teen who was part of the clinical trials: https://tinyurl.com/yc6ehybj
Died 13th July 2021 – Heart Attack Aged 16 Years Old
Nathan was a young healthy 16 year old who was newly vaccinated with Pfizer.
Nathan Esparza, a Castaic High School student and football player, tragically and passed away in his home of a Heart Attack on the evening of Tuesday, July 13th.
Mauro Esparza (Nathan’s Dad) said “As I sit here and grieve for the loss of my best friend, and continue to hear my son, he left a great lasting impression on so many amazing souls….. this brings me some sort of comfort”.
Castaic, California, USA
I can personally confirm through neighbors he had just received the Pfizer vaccine. (More at NO MORE SILENCE)
The 11 Worst Fact-Checks By Facebook’s New Fact-Checkers (DAILY WIRE, December 2016)
Here’s Where The ‘Facts’ About Me Lie — Facebook Bizarrely Claims Its ‘Fact-Checks’ Are ‘Opinion’ (NEW YORK POST, December 2021)
Facebook Fact-Checkers Caught Making Wrong Fact Checks, Exposing Liberal Bias (LIES.NEWS, July 2020)
Facebook’s Lab-Leak Censors Owe The Post, And America, An Apology (NEW YORK POST, May 2021)
Facebook Fact Checkers Just Censored Peer Reviewed Science (WATTS UP WITH THAT, September 2021)
Candace Owens Sues Facebook Fact-Checkers For Defamation: ‘I’m Sick Of The Censorship’ (WASHINGTON EXAMINER, November 2020) |||Candace Owens Challenges Fact-Checker, And Wins (DAILY WIRE, November 2020)
Covid-19: Researcher Blows The Whistle On Data Integrity Issues In Pfizer’s Vaccine Trial — Open Letter From The BMJ To Mark Zuckerberg (BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL, Decmber 2021)
Medical Journal Blasts Facebook For Using Fake ‘Fact Checks’ To Justify Censorship (THE FEDERALIST, December 2021)
Facebook VP Concedes ‘Fact Checkers’ Have Own Agenda (VISION TIMES, June 2021)
et cetera, et cetera, et cetera
I found this interesting… I came across info regarding FDA “approval” that shows the swarmynature of government run procedures.
Pfizer’s vaccine against COVID-19 has been fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration, yet the pharmaceutical giant is still providing distributors across the country with an earlier version of the vaccine that predates FDA’s full approval.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine allowed under federal Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in December 2020 and the Comirnaty vaccine approved by the FDA in August are identical, according to Pfizer and several experts.
However, the two vaccines are legally distinct, raising questions over the legality of vaccine mandates….
SEN. RON JOHNSON
Here is Senator Ron Johnson’s key claim from the above interview:
SEN. RON JOHNSON: We do not have an FDA-approved vaccine being administered in the U.S. The FDA played a bait and switch. They approved the Comirnaty version of Pfizer drugs. It’s not available in the U.S. They even admit it. I sent them a letter three days later going “What are you doing?” What they did is they extended the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer drug vaccine that’s available in the U.S., here that’s more than 30 days later, they haven’t asked that very simple question. If you’re saying that the Pfizer drug is the same as the Comirnaty, why didn’t you provide FDA approval on that? So, there’s not an FDA-approved drug and, of course, they announced it so they could push through these mandates so that people actually think, “Oh, OK now these things are FDA approved.” They are not and again, maybe they should be, but the FDA isn’t telling me why.
Another posting on this notes the BAIT-N-SWITCH aspect of this whole thing via Jordan Schachtel at his SUBSTACK: Shell Game? There remains no FDA approved COVID vaccine in the United States
I fact checked the fact checkers and couldn’t believe what I found. Despite the corporate press, Big Pharma, and the federal government telling us otherwise, it is absolutely true that there is no FDA approved COVID-19 vaccine available in the United States today. And there are no plans to make one available any time soon.
I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s 100% true. And this reality hints at an incredible scandal within both Big Pharma and the U.S. Public Health bureaucracy.
On August 23, the FDA granted full approval for a COVID-19 vaccine to Pfizer-BioNtech for a specific product sold under the brand name Comirnaty. The landmark moment — the “full approval” endorsement from the FDA — was heralded by the Biden Administration and countless states, and quickly leveraged to coerce millions into taking the shots. This product, Comirnaty, was fully authorized for the “prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older.”
Yet Comirnaty itself has never made its way into the United States. The fully-approved version is nowhere to be found within our borders.
A separate product, which remains under emergency use authorization (EUA), is the only “Pfizer shot” available in the United States.
Early on, Pfizer and its government allies seemed to have a reasonable explanation for this issue. They claimed that Comirnaty was not yet available because the EUA shots were still lining the shelves, and claimed that the FDA-approved version would be available to all soon.
Now, it’s been over 4 months since full approval, and Comirnaty is still not being distributed…..
There is this story as well that I posted on my site’s Facebook that caught my eye, and it starts out by noting “There is a tectonic shift underway in the medico-scientific establishment: they are starting to walk back boosters.”
European Union regulators warned that frequent Covid-19 booster shots could adversely affect the immune system and may not be feasible. Repeat booster doses every four months could eventually weaken the immune system and tire out people, according to the European Medicines Agency.
The piece goes on to quote Marco Cavaleri, the Head of Biological Health Threats and Vaccines Strategy at the European Medicines Agency (EMA), who said that boosters “can be done once, or maybe twice, but it’s not something that we can think should be repeated constantly.”
Cavaleri then went on to say something we had not yet heard from a high-level public health official:
“We need to think about how we can transition from the current pandemic setting to a more endemic setting.”
Around the same time, the World Health Organization (WHO) put out a statement which included this astounding sentence:
“[A] vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine composition is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable.”
This was a truly startling development since until a week before medical authorities world over were speaking about the need for the fourth (and even subsequent) shots. In fact, some countries like Britain and Israel have already started their administration.
This sudden change of course indicates that there is something in the data that has the powers that be seriously worried. When it came to the Covid vaccines, the medical authorities have displayed an astonishing level of tolerance for side effects and collateral damage. So much so that they were even willing to let some children die unnecessarily for the sake of their vaccine agenda…….
If true, then this IS BIG NEWS. Maybe this is why??
The vaccinated population in the UK account for nearly 75% of alleged Covid-19 deaths, according to the UK Health Security Agency.
Out of the over 3700 deaths reported from Dec. 6 to Jan. 2, over 2600 of them were fully vaccinated – over 70%, according to the data, and an additional 130 deaths attributed to the “partly vaccinated” brings the total up to nearly 75%.
(PDF: COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report [Week 1] 6 January 2022)
The NEW YORK POSTsays that the “UK Health Security Agency said people who received three doses of Pfizer’s vaccine saw their protection drop from 70 percent to 45 percent within 10 weeks.” CNBCnotes the fact that:
Albert Bourla (PFIZER’S CEO and veterinarian)
…Two-doses of Pfizer’s or Moderna’s vaccines are only about 10% effective at preventing infection from omicron 20 weeks after the second dose, according to the U.K. data.
A booster dose, on the other hand, is up to 75% effective at preventing symptomatic infection and 88% effective at preventing hospitalization, according to the data.
However, Bourla said it’s unclear how long a booster dose will provide protection against Covid. The U.K. Health Security Agency also found that boosters are only 40% to 50% effective against infection 10 weeks after receiving the shot….
CONSPIRACIES BECOME REALITY
MRNA CHANGES DNA
BLOOMBERGhas an article touching on this once “conspiracy” becoming reality. (The full article is HERE):
….In the biggest of the trio, the drug giant agreed to pay as much as $1.35 billion, including $300 million upfront, to Beam Therapeutics to partner on a technique for editing DNA. Two other deals will give Pfizer access to technology for synthesizing genetic material and delivering it to cells.
“Clearly this is one of the top priorities that Pfizer and I myself have for this year,” said CEO Albert Bourla in an interview with Bloomberg Television. The New York-based drugmaker will “invest a lot of capital that has accumulated” through the sales of its Covid-19 vaccine back into this space, Bourla said.
Developed with German partner BioNTech, Pfizer’s Covid vaccine has become one of the biggest-selling and most important pharmaceutical products of all time. While relatively difficult to ship and store because of temperature requirements, the messenger RNA shot is expected to bring in more than $36 billion for 2021, far outselling inoculations from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson that use other means to raise antibodies against Covid.
Producing an mRNA-based Covid vaccine gave Pfizer expertise to apply to other mRNA opportunities, such as base editing, Beam CEO John Evans said Monday in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Pfizer and Beam plan to use mRNA to deliver edits that, if successful, would change a person’s DNA to fix or possibly even cure genetic disease….
Since the beginning of the pandemic, a debate over the accuracy of the COVID-19 death totals has existed, with the attempt being to delineate who died directly from the virus vs. who died while having an incidental infection.
That debate emerged because there have been numerous examples of people wrongly labeled as dying of the coronavirus when they clearly died by other means and would have done so regardless of infection. Typically, when a limited dive into the data produces such results (such as just looking at Palm Beach County), you can bet there are a lot more examples out there that just haven’t been discovered.
Yet, for the better part of two years, any discussion of such miscategorizations resulted in a litany of derogatory responses. Either you were a conspiracy theorist, weren’t taking the pandemic seriously, or both. The press wrote countless articles insisting that the totals were completely accurate, especially during the Trump administration. The Washington Post even managed to call Sen. Joni Ernst, who is about as milquetoast of a Republican as you can get, a conspiracy theorist for asking questions. Meanwhile, social media companies would ban people for suggesting the totals were inaccurate.
But as has been the pattern the last few months, from the admission that the lab leak theory is probable to revisions about the vaccines not stopping the spread of COVID-19, another major shift is taking place. Per CDC Dir. Rochelle Walensky, the government is preparing to release revised COVID death figures that will show those who died from the virus instead of the broader total of those who died with it.
When taken in a vacuum, this announcement is a very good thing. Who wouldn’t want more accurate data regarding the pandemic? Especially when our inflated COVID death numbers are used to disparage the United States worldwide while other countries undercount their death totals.
Yet, I can’t help but notice how politically convenient this is. Literally, just a few days after Joe Biden took the mantle of presiding over the most COVID deaths from Donald Trump, the government suddenly decides now is the time to revise the numbers? Yeah, there’s no way that’s a coincidence.……
More and more evidence is showing what was called a conspiracy theory or xenophobia shows to be in fact reality.
COVID ENGINEERED IN LABORATORY
TECHNO FROG has an excellent post on the matter — of which I will excerpt a portion from, but the ENTIRE article is worth your time:
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci and NIH Director Francis Collins have decried the theory that the virus escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology as a conspiracy theory.
Back in March 2020, Collins said claims that COVID-19 was engineered in a lab were “outrageous.” He pointed to a new study that “debunks such claims by providing scientific evidence that this novel coronavirus arose naturally.” Notably, one of the study’s authors, Kristian Anderson, had previously informed Fauci that some features of the virus “look engineered.”
Never to be outdone, in May 2020, Fauci told National Geographic that this virus “could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.” Could not. He left no room for doubt:
Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species
Notes from a February 1, 2020 conference call were forwarded to Fauci and Collins on February 2, 2020. Here are the excerpts from the Republican release.
Regarding the same February 1, 2020 phone conference, notes (likely communicating the position of Collins) state that experts needed to be convened to support the theory of “natural origin” or the “voices of conspiracy will quickly dominate, doing great harm to science and international harmony…” There was no concern for actually getting to the truth.
Another February 2 email (to which Fauci and Collins were copied) from Dr. Andrew Rambaut states “from a (natural) evolutionary point of view the only thing here that strikes me as unusual is the furin cleavage site.” Importantly, he observed the insertion “resulted in an extremely fit virus in humans.”
Then there were efforts to completely shut down debate. Dr. Ron Fouchier remarked that debate on the origins of the virus would be a distraction and cause harm to science.
And then in April 2020, we see Collins again asking government officials at NIH to “put down” the “very destructive conspiracy” that the virus was engineered…….
“If the American people put us back in charge, we are definitely going to do this because we now know without a doubt that Dr. Fauci knew on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 that this thing [the COVID 19 virus] came from a lab,” said Rep. Jordan. (POST MILLENNIAL)
And PROJECT VERITAS had a huge release of what is weightier than The Pentagon Papers.
Military documents state that EcoHealth Alliance approached DARPA in March 2018 seeking funding to conduct gain of function research of bat borne coronaviruses. The proposal, named Project Defuse, was rejected by DARPA over safety concerns and the notion that it violates the gain of function research moratorium.
The main report regarding the EcoHealth Alliance proposal leaked on the internet a couple of months ago, it has remained unverified until now. Project Veritas has obtained a separate report to the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, written by U.S. Marine Corp Major, Joseph Murphy, a former DARPA Fellow.
“The proposal does not mention or assess potential risks of Gain of Function (GoF) research,” a direct quote from the DARPA rejection letter.
Project Veritas reached out to DARPA for comment regarding the hidden documents and spoke with the Chief of Communications, Jared Adams, who said, “It doesn’t sound normal to me,” when asked about the way the documents were buried.
[WASHINGTON, D.C. – Jan. 10, 2022] Project Veritas has obtained startling never-before-seen documents regarding the origins of COVID-19, gain of function research, vaccines, potential treatments which have been suppressed, and the government’s effort to conceal all of this.
The documents in question stem from a report at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA, which were hidden in a top secret shared drive.
DARPA is an agency under the U.S. Department of Defense in charge of facilitating research in technology with potential military applications.
Project Veritas has obtained a separate report to the Inspector General of the Department of Defense written by U.S. Marine Corp Major, Joseph Murphy, a former DARPA Fellow.
The report states that EcoHealth Alliance approached DARPA in March 2018, seeking funding to conduct gain of function research of bat borne coronaviruses. The proposal, named Project Defuse, was rejected by DARPA over safety concerns and the notion that it violates the basis gain of function research moratorium.
According to the documents, NAIAD, under the direction of Dr. Fauci, went ahead with the research in Wuhan, China and at several sites across the U.S.
Dr. Fauci has repeatedly maintained, under oath, that the NIH and NAIAD have not been involved in gain of function research with the EcoHealth Alliance program. But according to the documents obtained by Project Veritas which outline why EcoHealth Alliance’s proposal was rejected, DARPA certainly classified the research as gain of function.
“The proposal does not mention or assess potential risks of Gain of Function (GoF) research,” a direct quote from the DARPA rejection letter.
Major Murphy’s report goes on to detail great concern over the COVID-19 gain of function program, the concealment of documents, the suppression of potential curatives, like Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine, and the mRNA vaccines……
FEMINIST FATALE, NAOMI WOLF
And GATEWAY PUNDIT covers Steve Bannon’s WAR ROOM discussion about this with the old guard feminist Naomi Wolf:
On Tuesday morning Dr. Robert Malone, the inventor of the mRNA vaccine, and Dr. Naomi Wolf, a former Clinton adviser and democracy activist, joined Steve Bannon on The War Room to respond to the Project Veritas bombshell.
Dr. Malone called it “bigger than the Pentagon Papers.”
Dr. Wolf called it “manslaughter of millions of people coordinated at the highest levels.” Boom!
NAOMI WOLF: The fact that Dr. Fauci grossly perjured himself is hugely apparent. It is the least of the crimes if indeed these are verified documents… I can’t overstate this, this is a premeditated kind of manslaughter of millions of people coordinated at the highest levels according to these documents. Treatments that would have saved lives were intentionally or reportedly intentionally suppressed.
The DAILY WIRE joins the mix as well with an excellent article documenting “Top U.S. and British scientists reportedly thought that SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, likely escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.” Continuing with their article, the reason they kept quite about it was due to international relations: “but some were hesitant to let the debate play out in the media because they were concerned about ‘international harmony.'”
“An email from Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, on February 2 2020 said that ‘a likely explanation’ was that Covid had rapidly evolved from a Sars-like virus inside human tissue in a low-security lab,” The Telegraph reported. “The email, to Dr Anthony Fauci and Dr Francis Collins of the US National Institutes of Health, went on to say that such evolution may have ‘accidentally created a virus primed for rapid transmission between humans.’”
However, a top Dutch scientist and a top U.S. public health official warned that discussing the lab leak theory could cause serious geopolitical issues and could harm China.
Dr. Francis Collins, the then-director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), replied to Farrar, writing: “I share your view that a swift convening of experts in a confidence-inspiring framework is needed or the voices of conspiracy will quickly dominate, doing great potential harm to science and international harmony.”
Another scientist, Dr. Ron Fouchier, a Dutch virologist and Deputy Head of the Erasmus MC Department of Viroscience, responded to Farrar, “Further debate about such accusations would unnecessarily distract top researchers from their active duties and do unnecessary harm to science in general and science in China in particular.”
The report added:
In the emails, Sir Jeremy said that other scientists also believed the virus could not have evolved naturally. One such scientist was Professor Mike Farzan, of Scripps Research, the expert who discovered how the original Sars virus binds to human cells.… The emails also show that Bob Garry, of the University of Texas, was unconvinced that Covid-19 emerged naturally.
Viscount Ridley, co-author of Viral: the search for the origin of Covid, said that the emails showed “a lamentable lack of openness and transparency among Western scientists who appear to have been more interested in shutting down a hypothesis they thought was very plausible, for political reasons.”….
BABYLON BEE’S PROPHECY
And here is a WEASEL ZIPPER’S story regarding hospital shortages due to laying workers off due to no vaccinations:
Hospitals and long-term care facilities are so short staffed that many are compelling Covid-positive doctors and nurses to return to work, arguing that bringing back asymptomatic or even symptomatic staff is the only way they can keep their doors open amid a spike in hospitalizations.
The practice, allowed by the most recent CDC guidance, underscores the dire situation in which many facilities find themselves as more than 120,000 people nationwide are now hospitalized with the virus — almost three times the total from Thanksgiving when Omicron was first detected.
The US federal government will no longer require hospitals to report the number of people who die from COVID-19 every day, according to new guidelines from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
On January 6, the HHS published updated guidelines on which information hospitals provide to the agency. The guidelines note the “retirement of fields which are no longer required to be reported,” among which is “Previous day’s COVID-19 deaths.”
The guidelines note, “This field has been made inactive for the federal data collection. Hospitals no longer need to report these data elements to the federal government.” This change goes into effect February 2.
If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice that Covid-19 hospitalizations appear to be skyrocketing to new heights around the country. Hospital after hospital is suddenly once again filled with Covid patients, or so it seems. As it turns out, the numbers are not only lying, they’re being distorted in such a way that further lessens public trust in agencies like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to accurately and objectively provide information.
The issue has to do with what types of hospital admissions actually get counted as Covid-19 patients. Obviously, patients suffering from severe illness due to Covid are included in this count. However, so are patients who visit the hospital for a scheduled procedure or another acute emergency, yet then test positive for Covid-19 while they’re there. They could be asymptomatic, having no Covid issues, but suddenly they become a “Covid hospitalization” and greatly inflate and exaggerate the numbers.
In a recent interview, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky admitted that hospitalization numbers are greatly exaggerated, and the actual number of attributed Covid-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic may be exaggerated as well, but she doesn’t know by how much:
CNN anchor Jake Tapper has criticized as “misleading” the admission by the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that it counted COVID patients who had been admitted to hospital for something else.
Tapper was reacting to comments CDC director Rochelle Walensky made on Fox News on Sunday that “up to 40 percent” of patients had been admitted to hospitals with another medical emergency but had been later detected as having COVID.
When asked by Fox News anchor Bret Baier if there was a breakdown of how many of the 836,000 deaths in the U.S. were “from COVID” or “with COVID,” Walensky gave a non-committal answer in which she said “our death registry…takes a few weeks to collect,” and that “those data will be forthcoming.”
The numbers are repeating around the country, with at least 40%, perhaps higher, of non-Covid hospital admissions in New York City being incorrectly included in the count:…..
MEDIA BIAS TO PROTECT BIDEN
AMERICAN GREATNESShas an article about the Associate Press ordering “its staff to stop covering the total number of coronavirus cases in the country and around the globe.” Saying it is a “dramatic shift in focus… apparently shifting the parameters of what a ‘case’ truly means.” CONTINUING:
Fox News reports that the sudden change can be seen in a recent article from the AP titled “Omicron wave prompts media to rethink which data to report,” by author David Bauder. In the article, published on Wednesday, Bauder claims that, while the number of positive coronavirus cases and hospitalizations had previously been “barometers of the pandemic’s march across the world,” the ongoing spread of the Omicron variant from South Africa “is making a mess of the usual statistics, forcing news organizations to rethink the way they report such figures.”
“The number of case counts soared over the holidays, an expected development given the emergence of a variant more transmissible than its predecessors,” Bauder wrote. “Yet these counts only reflect what is reported by health authorities. They do not include most people who test themselves at home, or are infected without even knowing about it. Holidays and weekends also lead to lags in reported cases.”
As a result, the AP speculates that if every single positive test was included, then the total number of cases would be “substantially higher” as a result of dramatic inflation and exaggeration of many instances.
“For that reason, The Associated Press has recently told its editors and reporters to avoid emphasizing case counts in stories about the disease,” Bauder continued. “That means, for example, no more stories focused solely on a particular country or state setting a one-day record for number of cases, because that claim has become unreliable.”…..
LEFTIE MOMS RAGE AGAINST THEIR MACHINE!
This first article is via THE ATLANTIC:Why I Soured on the Democrats: COVID school policies set me adrift from my tribe.
Until recently, I was a loyal, left-leaning Democrat, and I had been my entire adult life. I was the kind of partisan who registered voters before midterm elections and went to protests. I hated Donald Trump so much that I struggled to be civil to relatives on the other side of the aisle. But because of what my family has gone through during the pandemic, I can’t muster the same enthusiasm. I feel adrift from my tribe and, to a certain degree, disgusted with both parties.
I can’t imagine that I would have arrived here—not a Republican, but questioning my place in the Democratic Party—had my son not been enrolled in public kindergarten in 2020.
Late that summer, the Cleveland school system announced that it would not open for in-person learning the first 9 weeks of the semester. I was distraught. My family relies on my income, and I knew that I would not be able to work full-time with my then-5-year-old son and then-3-year-old daughter at home.
Still, I was accepting of short-term school closures. My faith in the system deteriorated only as the weeks and months of remote-learning dragged on long past the initial timeline, and my son began refusing to log on for lessons. I couldn’t blame him. Despite his wonderful teacher’s best efforts, online kindergarten is about as ridiculous as it sounds, in my experience. I remember logging on to a “gym” class where my son was the only student present. The teacher, I could tell, felt embarrassed. We both knew how absurd the situation was.
Children who had been present every day the year before in preschool, whose parents I had seen drop them off every morning, just vanished. The daily gantlet of passwords and programs was a challenge for even me and my husband, both professionals who work on computers all day. About 30 percent of Cleveland families didn’t even have internet in their home prior to the pandemic.
I kept hoping that someone in our all-Democratic political leadership would take a stand on behalf of Cleveland’s 37,000 public-school children or seem to care about what was happening. Weren’t Democrats supposed to stick up for low-income kids? Instead, our veteran Democratic mayor avoided remarking on the crisis facing the city’s public-school families. Our all-Democratic city council was similarly disengaged. The same thing was happening in other blue cities and blue states across the country, as the needs of children were simply swept aside. Cleveland went so far as to close playgrounds for an entire year. That felt almost mean-spirited, given the research suggesting the negligible risk of outdoor transmission—an additional slap in the face.
Things got worse for us in December 2020, when my whole family contracted COVID-19. The coronavirus was no big deal for my 3- and 5-year-olds, but I was left with lingering long-COVID symptoms, which made the daily remote-schooling nightmare even more grueling. I say this not to hold myself up for pity. I understand that other people had a far worse 2020. I’m just trying to explain why my worldview has shifted and why I’m not the same person I was.
By the spring semester, the data showed quite clearly that schools were not big coronavirus spreaders and that, conversely, the costs of closures to children, both academically and emotionally, were very high. The American Academy of Pediatrics first urged a return to school in June 2020. In February 2021, when The New York Times surveyed 175 pediatric-disease experts, 86 percent recommended in-person school even if no one had been vaccinated.
But when the Cleveland schools finally reopened, in March 2021—under pressure from Republican Governor Mike DeWine—they chose a hybrid model that meant my son could enter the building only two days a week.
My husband and I had had enough: With about two months left in the academic year, we found a charter school that was open for full-time in-person instruction. It was difficult to give up on our public school. We were invested. But our trust was broken.
Compounding my fury was a complete lack of sympathy or outright hostility from my own “team.” Throughout the pandemic, Democrats have been eager to style themselves as the ones that “take the virus seriously,” which is shorthand, at least in the bluest states and cities, for endorsing the most extreme interventions. By questioning the wisdom of school closures—and taking our child out of public school—I found myself going against the party line. And when I tried to speak out on social media, I was shouted down and abused, accused of being a Trumper who didn’t care if teachers died. On Twitter, mothers who had been enlisted as unpaid essential workers were mocked, often in highly misogynistic terms. I saw multiple versions of “they’re just mad they’re missing yoga and brunch.”
Twitter is a cesspool full of unreasonable people. But the kind of moralizing and self-righteousness that I saw there came to characterize lefty COVID discourse to a harmful degree. As reported in this magazine, the parents in deep-blue Somerville, Massachusetts, who advocated for faster school reopening last spring were derided as “fucking white parents” in a virtual public meeting. The interests of children and the health of public education were both treated as minor concerns, if these subjects were broached at all.
Obviously, Republicans have been guilty of politicizing the pandemic with horrible consequences, fomenting mistrust in vaccines that will result in untold numbers of unnecessary deaths. I’m not excusing that.
But I’ve been disappointed by how often the Democratic response has exacerbated that mistrust by, for example, exaggerating the risks of COVID-19 to children. A low point for me was when Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe inflated child COVID-hospitalization numbers on the campaign trail. It was almost Trumplike. (If I lived in Virginia, I admit I probably would have had to sit out the recent gubernatorial election, in which the Republican candidate beat McAuliffe.)
And another Leftie mom wrote about an almost identical experience[s] in POLITICO:How School Closures Made Me Question My Progressive Politics: I’ve never felt more alienated from the liberal Democratic circles I usually call home.
June 26, 2020, was the day I went public with just how angry I was about my son’s school closing down for Covid, and my life hasn’t been the same since.
I had begun to sense a difference between my own feelings and those of my mom’s text group, which included nine of us whose kids had gone to preschool together since they were 2 years old; the kids were 8 at the time. These were the parents of my son’s closest friends. We even had a name for our group, the “mamigas”— as most of us were either Latinas or married to Latinos and shared a commitment to bilingual education.
I tweeted, “Does anyone else feel enraged at the idea that you’ll be homeschooling in the fall full-time? Cuz my moms group text is in full-blown acceptance mode and it bugs the shit out of me.” I didn’t know it yet, but this would be my first foray into school reopening advocacy, which eventually included helping lead a group of Oakland parents in pushing the school district to be more transparent about the process of reopening (particularly in negotiations with the teachers union) and writing several pieces on the topic. I probably should have inferred that becoming a school-reopening advocate would not go over well in my progressive Oakland community, but I didn’t anticipate the social repercussions, or the political identity crisis it would trigger for me. My own experience, as a self-described progressive in ultra-lefty Oakland, is just one example of how people across the political spectrum have become frustrated with Democrats’ position on school reopenings.
Parents who advocated for school reopening were repeatedly demonized on social media as racist and mischaracterized as Trump supporters. Members of the parent group I helped lead were consistently attacked on Twitter and Facebook by two Oakland moms with ties to the teachers union. They labelled advocates’ calls for schools reopening “white supremacy” called us “Karens,” and even bizarrely claimed we had allied ourselves with Marjorie Taylor Greene’s transphobic agenda.
There was no recognition of the fact that we were advocating for our kids, who were floundering in remote learning, or that public schools across the country (in red states) opened in fall 2020 without major outbreaks, as did private schools just miles from our home. Only since last fall, when schools reopened successfully despite the more contagious Delta variant circulating, have Democratic pundits and leaders been talking about school closures as having caused far more harm than benefit.
Some progressive parents now admit they were too afraid of the blowback from their communities to speak up. And they were right to be wary. We paid a price.
So did Democrats, even if they didn’t realize it until later, or still don’t. Glenn Youngkin’s surprise gubernatorial win in Virginia in November was a wake-up call for the party. As has been recognized, Youngkin’s focus on school-related issues, especially after Terry McAuliffe made a dismissive remark about parents, was an effective tactic. Still, all over Twitter I saw progressives denying that parent anger at prolonged school closures was a major issue in that election — they claimed it was all about anti-critical race theory sentiment, despite research showing school pandemic policies were more to blame. Even more disturbing, as evidenced in the comments on a recent tweet by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), is that many still believe shutting down schools for a year or more was justified. Some progressive parents now admit they were too afraid of the blowback from their communities to speak up. And they were right to be wary. We paid a price.
So did Democrats, even if they didn’t realize it until later, or still don’t. Glenn Youngkin’s surprise gubernatorial win in Virginia in November was a wake-up call for the party. As has been recognized, Youngkin’s focus on school-related issues, especially after Terry McAuliffe made a dismissive remark about parents, was an effective tactic. Still, all over Twitter I saw progressives denying that parent anger at prolonged school closures was a major issue in that election — they claimed it was all about anti-critical race theory sentiment, despite research showing school pandemic policies were more to blame. Even more disturbing, as evidenced in the comments on a recent tweet by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), is that many still believe shutting down schools for a year or more was justified.
Some unions and districts are now using last year’s closures as a precedent. Recently, with the Omicron surge, several major school districts announced they were switching to remote learning for a week or more, including Newark and dozens of other New Jersey districts, Ann Arbor and Cleveland. Then last week, the Chicago teachers union voted for a sickout, followed by teachers in San Francisco and Oakland engaging in similar actions.
Spring 2020 had been a disaster for my son when his school in the Oakland Unified School District switched to emergency remote learning. He had recently been diagnosed with ADHD and did not do well with me at home — he often flatly refused to do any work. Although I saw a range of reactions by teachers to emergency remote learning that spring, and know that some went to great lengths to keep their students engaged, my son’s teacher only met with the kids one-on-one on Zoom for 15 minutes a week. Beyond that, parents were given worksheets to do with our kids; there was no actual instruction that spring.
When the new school year began in August 2020, Oakland provided only fully remote instruction. My incredibly bright but impulsive son found the temptation of having a computer screen in front of him irresistible — and would often open other windows or try to surf the internet.
By January 2021, with my son increasingly disengaged as Zoom school dragged on and no hope of an imminent return to school in Oakland, I promised him I wouldn’t make him go through another year like this. I knew that he desperately needed to learn alongside other kids.
I had until then resisted my dad’s suggestion that I consider sending him to private school. I was a proud alumna of San Francisco public schools and planned for my kids to attend Oakland public schools, despite their reputation for behavioral and academic problems. As an interracial, bilingual/bicultural family, what we wanted was for our son to attend a dual-language immersion program with plenty of other kids of color. My family was also in no way able to pay for private school.
But I began to fear that even in-person school in fall 2021 was at risk because of the impossible demands of the teachers union (that schools remain fully remote until there were “near-zero” Covid cases in Oakland) and apathy of the school board and district; even after teachers were prioritized for vaccination, there was no urgency to get kids back to the classroom. My dad offered to help pay for private school, and we applied. In March we were notified that my son was admitted to a private dual-language immersion school, and that we had been granted a 75 percent scholarship. There was still no deal in place between Oakland’s school district and the union to return to in-person school. I had lost all faith in the decision-makers to do what was best for my kid. So I made the only logical decision.
Even then, I feared what fellow parents might think of me. I’m well aware of the stereotypes of white parents choosing the private-school option when the going gets tough at public schools. I told myself that prioritizing being a “good leftist” at the expense of my son’s well-being wasn’t good parenting, but as a red-diaper baby myself, the white guilt dies hard. My own parents had sent me to an elementary school with a huge majority of Black and Pacific Islander students; while many might assume the white parents documented in the New York Times podcast “Nice White Parents” were pioneers, my parents reverse-integrated me into a “failing” school 40 years ago. Sending my kid to private school was accompanied by a lot of angst.
My fears were amplified by the backlash I and other school reopening advocates had faced throughout the school year, particularly on social media. There were a range of insults lobbed at us: We were bad parents who didn’t care about our own kids or teachers dying, we only wanted our babysitters back and our frustrations about school closures were an example of “white supremacy.” Los Angeles teachers union head Cecily Myart-Cruz stated that reopening schools was “a recipe for propagating structural racism.”
“If you plan to destroy test fields to prevent responsible testing and development of Golden Rice for humanitarian purposes, you will be accused of contributing to a crime against humanity. Your actions will be carefully registered and you will, hopefully, have the opportunity to defend your illegal and immoral actions in front of an international court.” — Dr. Ingo Potrykus to Greenpeace, February 2001
….According to the World Health Organization between 250,000 to 500,000 children become blind every year due to vitamin A deficiency, half of whom die within a year of becoming blind. Millions of other people suffer from various debilitating conditions due to the lack of this essential nutrient.
Golden Rice is a genetically modified form of rice that, unlike conventional rice, contains beta-Carotene in the rice kernel. Beta-Carotene is converted to vitamin A in humans and is important for eyesight, the immune system, and general good health. Swiss scientist and humanitarian Dr. Ingo Potrykus and his colleagues developed Golden Rice in 1998. It has been demonstrated in numerous studies that golden rice can eliminate vitamin A deficiency.
Greenpeace and its allies have successfully blocked the introduction of golden rice for over a decade, claiming it may have “environmental and health risks” without ever elaborating on what those risks might be. After years of effort the Golden Rice Humanitarian Project, led by Dr. Potrykus, The Rockefeller Foundation and others were unable to break through the political opposition to golden rice that was generated directly by Greenpeace and its followers.
Recently the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has taken a lead role, in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, in breaking through these barriers and bringing Golden Rice to market. Field trials are now underway in the Philippines and Bangladesh with the hope of introducing it to the market by 2015. Since the invention of Golden Rice in 1998 between four million and 8 million additional children have become blind, nearly half of whom have already died. Surely this constitutes “great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.” Greenpeace continues to oppose these field trials.
Greenpeace has openly and aggressively spread misinformation about Golden Rice since it was first invented and has continued to do so at every opportunity. They claim that there are better ways to alleviate vitamin A deficiency, such as vitamin pills and “home gardening”. Yet Greenpeace is doing nothing to implement alternative programs for the millions of victims, claiming the cause of vitamin A deficiency is “poverty”. One might ask if purposefully condemning millions of children to blindness and early death perpetuates poverty rather than alleviating it. Academies of Science around the world endorse the use of biotechnology, including genetic modification, to improve the nutrition and productivity of our food crops. There is zero evidence of any possible harm from these improvements….