According to the latest data from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) another 225,978 children were officially infected with COVID-19 and at least 20 died in the last week alone. Since July 1, a staggering 1.47 million children have been infected, 4,561 have been hospitalized and 145 have died.
Over 100 children have died from COVID-19, or roughly three children a day, in the last five weeks in the US. The time period coincides with the forced reopening of K-12 schools and college campuses throughout the country.
Perhaps even more alarming, the latest AAP data shows that multiple states have quietly changed their parameters for tracking child infections, hospitalizations and deaths in order to obscure the data. Alabama, for example, changed their definition of “child cases” from ages 0-24 down to 0-17. In Missouri and Hawaii the definition for “child cases” was adjusted from ages 0-19 to 0-17. Similar changes were made in other states.
Florida has stopped reporting child hospitalizations altogether. Arkansas has stopped reporting child deaths and hospitalizations. Nebraska has completely removed their COVID-19 dashboard from public view—that is, the state is no longer reporting child cases, hospitalizations, or deaths.
In other words, the available data for how the new Delta variant is affecting children is being manipulated to under-report the severity of the situation.
Even with the efforts to play down the impact on children, the available data is incredibly damning. Over two weeks, from September 2 to September 16 there was a 9 percent increase in the cumulated number of child COVID-19 cases. Local reports reveal devastating stories of the young lives unnecessarily taken by the pandemic.
On Thursday, September 16, 17-year-old Alexia Garrison, high school senior from Illinois passed away from COVID-19. Alexia’s father, Jason Garrison, told WCIA that his daughter had not been vaccinated, and she had no pre-existing conditions.
Her father reported that his daughter had mild symptoms throughout her quarantine period after catching the virus. After she was no longer showing any symptoms, she returned to school. Alexia collapsed in her home late Wednesday night and was pronounced dead early Thursday morning. The family is being told that COVID pneumonia was the cause of death.
On September 14, 13-year-old Danny Rees from Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin died after testing positive for COVID-19. Danny’s mother, Tammy, told Channel3000 that her son had been congested for two days prior to his death. His mother thought he only had a cold before he suddenly stopped breathing while resting at home.
The Fort Atkinson School Board approved a mask mandate Thursday night following his death.
On September 12, 17-year-old Justin Leming, a high school student from Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, died from COVID-19. On September 4, Addison Wishart, only 4 years old, from Evans, Georgia, was recovering from abdominal surgery when she contracted COVID-19 and died.
The deaths of these children are beyond tragic. Their families and friends are dealing with unimaginable grief and pain from the loss of their loved ones at such a young age. It is hard to overstate the impact that such tragedies are having on society. How does a parent of elementary school youth explain the death of a friend, a teacher or a bus driver? How do they promise their children that they are safe after such tragedies?
Parents and workers are being put in impossible situations. The forced reopening of schools has purposefully coincided with the cutting off of federal unemployment benefits and the scrapping of the eviction moratorium, threatening millions of families with destitution and homelessness unless they send their children to unsafe schools and return to unsafe workplaces.
This campaign to reopen schools has been spearheaded by the Biden administration and the Democratic Party with the full backing of the Republicans. The ruling class is carrying out this campaign in direct opposition to science, which clearly shows that the reopening of schools is not safe under the current conditions and children are susceptible to contracting and spreading the virus. Closing schools and non-essential businesses for a relatively brief time is one of the key tools for stopping the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives.
While it is true that children die at far slower rates than adults, children are dying every day from the virus.
For those children who contract the virus but do not die, there is mounting evidence of long term symptoms and complications from COVID-19. Innumerable stories are emerging of severe cases among children. Just a brief review of some of the more harrowing cases include the following:
- Eduardo Cortes, 8, from San Diego, California, contracted COVID-19 from his parents, who were unvaccinated. Both parents had contracted the virus several weeks prior. Cortez was hospitalized a month later with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MISC). According to reports from the family, Cortes’ fever reached a staggering 106.1 degrees.
MISC has affected about 4,000 children since April 2020. There have been 80 cases diagnosed in San Diego alone. Doctors do not know why some kids are susceptible to MISC, while others are not.
- Elijah “E.J.” Johnson,18, has been admitted to a pediatric ICU in Missouri just one month after he scored two touchdowns in his first high school football game of the season. His mom told local reporters that he is now fighting to breathe due to COVID-19 pneumonia complicated by blood clots.
Elijah was not vaccinated. His mom has been vocal on Facebook about Elijah’s situation, “because the youth are being exposed and transmitting the virus more and more. ... his school doesn’t have a mask mandate, it’s optional.”
- Christian Davila, 17, from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was placed on life support due to COVID-19. Davila has been at MUSC’s Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital for three weeks. According to local reports he’s only been awake for the last week and a half of his stay. He is now regaining strength. “To walk into a hospital and see your son laying on a ventilator and nothing you can do about it, it floors you,” his dad told ABC-4 News.
“When we first heard about this COVID, you know, I thought it was nothing serious, nothing more than just the flu, you know, media hype whatever, but after watching what my son’s gone through over the last month, it’s totally changed my mind,” his father added.
Pediatric cases are on the rise in South Carolina. As of Thursday, there were 36 children hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, 16 in the ICU, six on ventilators and two on life support.
- 1-year-old Ava Amira Rivera was placed on life support due to COVID-19 after being airlifted to a Texas hospital 150 miles away from her home because of a shortage of pediatric beds in the Houston area. “My heart sank to the floor,” her mom told reporters.
The Biden administration, union bureaucrats and politicians on both sides of the aisle have repeated the chorus ad nauseam that “we must learn to live with the virus.” But this is a lie. All of these deaths and infections were preventable. Had the proper measures been taken at the start of the pandemic, the virus could have been contained and eradicated. Now, due to the negligence and criminality of the ruling class, both Democrat and Republican, more dangerous strains of the virus are developing.
The fact of the matter is that all factions of the ruling class—from Republicans, who are demanding an end to every mitigation measure, to Democrats, who claim that reopening can be carried out safely through “mitigation”—are opposed to the measures that are necessary to eradicate the virus, including the shutdown of schools.
In the country's largest school district, New York City, Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio unilaterally announced on Monday that unvaccinated children who are known to have been exposed to COVID-19 in classrooms will no longer be required to quarantine. These moves come just one week after schools reopened in the largest district in the US with roughly 1.1 million students.
The Democrats are working closely with the trade unions, and in particular the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in every state, to keep the schools open no matter the cost. AFT President Randi Weingarten has declared that “the number one priority is to get kids to be back in school.”
These efforts have been accompanied by a massive campaign in the corporate media to downplay the dangers posed to children and to promote the idea that things are “back to normal.”
There is, however, nothing “normal” about child deaths and infections from COVID-19. Opposition to these deadly policies is brewing among workers, parents and students across the country and in fact, internationally.
What is necessary is a common fight to close all K-12 schools, universities and nonessential workplaces with full compensation for those affected, in combination with a mass vaccination campaign, universal testing, contact tracing, isolation of infected patients and other public health measures, as part of a broader strategy to eradicate COVID-19 on a world scale.
This strategy will not be implemented by the political establishment or the trade unions, but must be fought for by the working class organized independently from both parties and the corporate controlled trade unions.
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