Today’s entry: Our new Surgeon General is one day on the job and the Sun-Sentinel editorial staff is already calling for his head. If you ever have anyone from Dade, Broward or Palm Beach school boards on, here are some questions I am sure the Sun-Sentinel staff has never asked nor would any other media. Besides relying on the CDC recommendations, which are subject to change, what did your system do over the past 18 months to prepare for the students to come back on campus? All we hear is that the only solution is masking and quarantines if exposed until the vaccinations for the younger population are approved.
Bottom Line: Your points are well taken. While very little surprises me with regard to the arbitrary policies of South Florida’s school districts and our news media’s handling of them, contrasted with Florida’s new Surgeon General, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, the speed with which news media and certain school districts moved to attempt to discredit him was remarkable. And the specific example you cited, the piece entitled, The Fear Is Real – of Florida’s new reckless new surgeon general, not only is designed to be a discrediting hit piece on Dr. Ladapo, but it also continues blatant untruths. Take this excerpt for example, "Ladapo’s arrival is exquisitely timed. Because Florida lags on vaccinations and DeSantis forbids local governments from requiring masks, the state just set a record for COVID-19 deaths, five weeks running." That’s the classic example of the notion that if one repeats a lie long enough people will believe it. It’s blatantly false to suggest that Florida lags on vaccinations.
Florida is 18th nationally in the percentage of the population immunized with at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Notably, the states are next behind Florida in COVID-19 vaccination rate - Oregon, Delaware, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Kentucky. All are led by Democrats, yet, news media from the Sun-Sentinel to national outlets will commonly cite false information about Florida in an effort to smear and discredit Governor DeSantis’ pandemic response.
All of South Florida’s School Districts have improved ventilation systems since the onset of the pandemic. That’s happened through a combination of improved filters, upgrading old units, and new ventilation strategies which have included commonly running outside airflow before and after school daily. The districts have allocated funds from the American Rescue Plan for these improvements. They’ve also kept sanitation supplies readily available for students and staff, all this in addition to designated space for those who may need to be observed for potential illness. So, the districts haven’t put all of their eggs in the mask mandate and quarantine baskets.
Now, to your final point in which you agreed with my assessment from Friday in which I said this, "Who really is behind the CDC’s school mask policy?" Is it the CDC? Nope. Not really, that’s because the CDC’s own study of school masking from last year required mask use among students was not statistically significant compared with schools where mask use was optional. That’s why their policy for this school year didn’t include a recommendation for mandatory masking until the American Federation of Teachers pressured the CDC behind closed doors to do it. Here’s the key to seeing how this all comes together. Seventy-eight percent of Florida’s public-school teachers are members of a teacher’s union whose parent is the American Federation of Teachers.
The AFT donates greater than 99% of its political donations to Democrats. In “journalism” it’s every bit as pervasive. For those who identify politically, about 90% are Democrats and for those who are politically active, 96% of the money donated to political campaigns is given to Democrats. It’s all pretty explainable once you look at it through that prism. Here you have a hard left teacher’s union setting an agenda based upon a hard left constituency of teachers and being covered by a hard left news media. None of the aforementioned come close to representing the political mix in any of our communities.
This has happened over decades because we weren’t minding the store and allowed it to occur. That’s what must change going forward and why it’s critical that all of us, including those who don’t have kids in school, stay informed and engage. The goal must be two-fold. Advocate for the best interests of our children and replace the majority of the school board members with good candidates in subsequent election cycles.
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Parler & Twitter: @brianmuddradio