Dr. Hotez: No One ‘Is Looking Out for the Children in the South’ — School Will Close Again

Dr. Peter Hotez declared Monday on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” that no one was looking out for the children in the southern states where COVID-19 cases are surging.

The doctor said this would cause a return to virtual learning.

Hotez said, “Who is looking out for the children in the South? We are having this massive surge of COVID-19 across the South. It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen, and we’ve never seen children’s hospital wards fill up with COVID before. We’ve never seen pediatric intensive care units get overwhelmed with COVID cases. We’ve seen ICUs, of course, and that’s been the great tragedy in this country around COVID-19, but not pediatric ICUs. That’s where somebody at some point has to draw the line and say no. We are not going to let our kids get sick and go into pediatric ICUs when we don’t have to, right? We can do things. We can mandate masks in the schools. We can mandate that all of the eligible adolescents over the age of 12 get vaccinated if they want to go to school. We can work with the FDA to see if we can get that approval and release to the school-age kids between 5 to 11, but in the meantime, we’ve got tools right now to prevent kids from going into the hospital and the ICUs. I’m baffled why this is not our number one national priority. When if ever in the past, we have not prioritized our kids in modern times. This is like something before the industrial revolution when we had child labor. We’ve got to figure this out.”

He continued, “I think a lot of the governors down here in the South and a lot of the elected officials are working off old information. They seem to not quite get that delta is different from previous lineages where the schools did really well.”

Hotez added, “Here’s what’s going to happen. Schools are opening up in the South now. We start earlier, usually than in the Northeast. Next week schools are starting across Louisiana. In some cases, they have already started. In two weeks here in Houston, school districts are going to open. Here’s what’s going to happen. Right now, about 20%, 25% of the adolescents in the South, are vaccinated. Three times lower than many states in the Northeast. They’re going to get sick. And the little kids are going to get sick, and teachers are going to get sick. What’s going to happen? They’re going to shut it down. They’re going to go back to virtual learning. So all of the stamping of feet and protests that we have to do in-person learning, in-person learning, we get it. I’m the parent of four adult kids. When my kids were little, I get it better than anyone, my wife too, the importance of in-person classes. We get that, so let’s do it. Let’s get the kids vaccinated and masked so we can give them a fighting chance for a successful school year.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.