Cuomo Warns, Hysterically, That New York Schools Will Become ‘Superspreaders’
While urging “dramatic action” to fight the Delta variant of COVID, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned Wednesday that “schools can become superspreaders, and in September it will happen.”
Telling parents fearful about sending their kids back into school buildings that their classrooms “will” become superspreader events is a counterproductive way to overcome the massive amounts of learning loss that remote K-12 students, who are disproportionately minority and poor, have faced during the pandemic, particularly in the Democratic-voting polities where school closures and distance learning are more prevalent.
Cuomo’s messaging is particularly confusing based on what we know about school infectiousness in New York City, home to 71 of the 117 zip codes that the governor has targeted for having comparatively low vaccination and high infection rates. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Department of Education submits students and staff to regular COVID testing, which has continued during the city’s “Summer Rising” program, attended by around 200,000 students. And the current positive test rate is close to non-existent.
Of the 21,684 tests administered to Summer Rising participants between July 6 and July 22, all of 28 came back positive. That’s a rate of 0.13 percent. The rolling average over the past seven days is just a tick higher: 0.16 percent.
The results are even more striking when you focus on the ostensible beneficiaries of the city’s requirement (and the Centers for Disease Control’s new recommendation) that all vaccinated people in schools wear masks: unvaccinated kids under age 12. Of the 28 positive tests in New York during that span, 15 were students and 13 were teachers or staff, despite students receiving 2.3 times more tests. So the positive test rate among students in New York City this July has been 0.01 percent. The governor is warning about a possible wave of superspreader events among a population whose current prevalence of infection is a thousand to one.
The Delta variant, which is increasing case loads in all 50 states, has advanced earlier and further in other highly vaccinated countries, most notably the United Kingdom. So what have we learned about kids, schools, and infectiousness there? Here’s an observation last week from U.K. pediatric infectious disease specialist Alasdair Munro, derived from this government study:
Despite incessant claims of schools driving this wave, and Delta disproportionately affecting children scaring parents…
Kids age 2 – 11y now lowest estimated prevalence of all ages<
Article from Latest – Reason.com