New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof isn’t the most obnoxiously partisan leftist in the media, but he rarely goes in on the Democrats the way he did in his column Tuesday. In a satisfying and powerful piece, Kristof put the party’s feet the fire, accusing them of being almost completely to blame for the “tragedy” of keeping kids out of schools for the last year.
“Millions of American schoolchildren will soon have missed a year of in-person instruction, and we may have inflicted permanent damage on some of them, and on our country,” Kristof wrote. “The educational losses are disproportionately the fault of Democratic governors and mayors who too often let schools stay closed even as bars opened.
“The blunt fact is that it is Democrats — including those who run the West Coast, from California through Oregon to Washington State — who have presided over one of the worst blows to the education of disadvantaged Americans in history,” he continued. “The result: more dropouts, less literacy and numeracy, widening race gaps, and long-term harm to some of our most marginalized youth.”
Fact check: True on all counts – especially the one that places this blame at the feet of Democratic politicians, most of whom are more concerned about exercising their power than they are about following the science and data.
Kristof accurately suggested that they might have been driven by another factor as well.
“Many Democrats seemed to become more suspicious of in-person schooling last summer when President Donald Trump called for it,” he noted. “We shouldn’t let ourselves be driven by ideology rather than science.”
Not helping matters is the Biden administration, which seems to be completely clueless about how to move forward with what should be one of the president’s biggest priorities.
At a CNN town hall on Tuesday Biden reiterated and clarified that he’s talking about grades K-8 and said, “The goal will be five days a week.” This contradicted recent statements by his press secretary, Jen Psaki, that the goal was just one day a week, without specifying K-8.
Another walkback happened earlier in February, when CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said vaccinating teachers was not a prerequisite for safely reopening schools; Psaki later said Walensky had been speaking “in her personal capacity.” The new, official CDC guidance, however, matches Walensky’s statement, saying “access to vaccination should not be considered a condition for reopening schools for in-person instruction.”
For as much flack as Democrats gave Trump for supposedly ignoring the science about COVID, they have themselves embraced conspiracy theories, doomsday ideology, and union propaganda instead of simply following the data. It’s good to see that even liberal media outlets are beginning to see through the charade.