By Michelle Mortensen
Follow the science.
Believe the experts.
Trust the data.
These are all phrases we hear far too often in 2020.
Politicians use these phrases to justify their demands for compliance, but it appears we’ve been duped! None of their demands in the name of public safety have been science driven. It’s all been political.
Why else would Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak allow the casinos to remain open but shut down churches?
Why would Governor Sisolak allow protesters to congregate without wearing masks but shut down bars because of rumors of patrons not wearing masks? Why did big box stores stay open during the lockdown, yet almost everyone else was told their business wasn’t essential? The answer is politics and money.
Big political donors stayed open. Regular hard working folks were shut down. Despite the massive hits businesses and personal livelihoods took during the lockdowns, the biggest victims of partisan pandemic politics are our children.
According to the politicians, the unions, and the ineffective and inept leadership at CCSD, all children will be receiving their education for the first part of the school year online. We’ve been told this decision was made in the best interest of our teachers and children; but quite frankly, the science and data doesn’t back that up at all.
The science and data show in-person school poses little risk to teachers and children. For example, a study from the Foundation of Research for Equal Opportunity shows children are far more likely to die from the flu, driving to and from school, or being struck by lightning, than from COVID-19.
According to the CDC, less than 20 children between 5-14 have died from COVID-19 this year. In Nevada, the CDC reports no children between 5-14 have died from Coronavirus.
Schools have also successfully reopened worldwide without any indication it is dangerous or deadly for students or teachers. In Montana, several schools reopened in May and not one has reported a COVID-related death. In Sweden, primary schools remained open throughout the pandemic.
Students and teachers did not wear masks or observe social distance. Not one death has been reported.
Science Magazine found “younger children rarely spread the virus to one another or bring it home.”
A study in Switzerland, failed to find evidence of a single case of a child passing coronavirus to an adult. Great Britain’s leading epidemiologist, Mark Woolhouse, found there is no known case of a teacher getting coronavirus from a student and said closing schools in March was a mistake.
I just gave you a lot of science, a lot of data, and all of it claims in-person school is safe for students and teachers. So why are we resorting to distance learning? Why is CNN reporting teachers writing wills in fear of dying in the classroom? Why did NBC report on an elderly teacher with lupus and diabetes dying of COVID? Was it to push a narrative? Was it because they are playing on people’s fears? Is this another case of politics as usual?
Politicians fear losing the next election. They fear losing their influence and being relevant, so they do what the mob, the unions and the donors want them to do.
The unions have been particularly influential in Nevada when it comes to distance-learning decisions. The Clark County Education Association, aka the teacher’s union, represents 18,000 teachers. The union made it clear money was needed to get teachers back in the classroom. CCEA wanted at least $14 million for COVID-19 testing for all teachers and they told Democrats to find the money or else. That’s why Nevada Democrats like Nicole Cannizzaro and Jason Frierson went after the mining tax in the first special session. It failed, so they called a second special session to find an alternate way of making it happen.
Our kids have become the latest bargaining chip in the world of politics as usual. These politicians may say they care about teachers and kids, but their actions say otherwise. While Nevada politicians may not be focused on Nevada’s future, I am.
My political action committee, Building A Better Nevada, is raising money for any CCSD student in need of a laptop or WiFi access. While CCSD is supposed to provide Chromebooks for all students, the fact is, they are short several thousand and many families simply cannot meet this need without assistance. Fifteen percent of families in Clark County live below the poverty line, more than 350,000 residents in Clark County rely on SNAP benefits, and more than 15,000 CCSD students are homeless. How can they afford a laptop or tablet? How can they afford WiFi?
That is why Building A Better Nevada is meeting the need the schools and politicians refuse to meet. We are purchasing hundreds of T-Mobile gift cards for students to access WiFi at a huge discount. We are also buying Chromebooks for students who won’t be getting one from CCSD.
We may not be able to force the politicians to do the right thing, but we can do the right thing, right now, for our future. If you would like to help Build A Better Nevada, please consider donating today.
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Michelle Mortensen is an 8-time Emmy winning TV journalist who has been featured on ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, MSNBC & NBC. She is a two-time Republican candidate for public office, a small business owner, consumer advocate and political commentator. She is the Founder and Chairman of Building A Better Nevada and sits on the board of WIN Nevada. She holds two degrees from Southern Methodist University and is a licensed minister. A wife and mother, Michelle is featured on various news and talk radio programs. Follow her at www.michellemortensen.com, and Facebook.com/michellemmortense
By Michelle Mortensen