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Trump To Ramp Up Testing Aimed To Open Schools, as Disease Is Not COVIDʼs Worst Toll on Children

Sept. 28, 2020 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump announced an escalation of COVID-19 infection testing this afternoon, with materials for 150 million Abbott Labs rapid point-of-care tests to be shipped in October—100 million of them to states and cities which are trying to open K-12 schools or colleges and keep them open. Assistant Secretary of Health Adm. Brett Giroir added that 6.5 million tests were being shipped during the day Sept. 28 to states and territories. Until now, only about 5 million of these 15-minute point-of-care antigen tests had been shipped.

As an example of the effect of the new shipments, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said that Mississippi would now test teachers daily in K-12 and state colleges. Admiral Giroir announced that COVID testing is now at 920,000/day nationally, and will ramp up sharply; Vice President Mike Pence told Americans to expect reported case numbers to rise along with it.

Indeed, not only is attempted “remote schooling” en masse degrading the effectiveness of education for millions of children; other COVID pandemic effects are hurting them at least as much as the disease itself. A surprising fact was reported from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Association on Sept. 24: Their data show the number of children and teenagers up to 18 years who have died from COVID-19 in the United States, including its inflammatory immune-storm syndrome, is “about 100.” This is less than deaths from homicides, drownings, fires, and burns, and far less than from traffic accidents. This age group represents more than 20% of the American population, and accounts for about 0.04% of loss of life to COVID. Similarly the CDC on Sept. 10 estimated the age-related fatality rates of COVID-19 as 1 in 34,000 infections for ages 1-19; 1 in 5,000 for ages 20-49; and then the serious death rates, 1 in 200 infections for ages 50-69, and 1 in 20 for ages 70 and over.

But The Intercept reported Sept. 23 that hunger among children in America has risen sharply during COVID-19; the level of households suffering hunger tripled from mid-2019 to August 2020. The analysis comes from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, using new data released by the Census Bureau and the Department of Agriculture. The share of American children who sometimes do not have enough to eat (this is a survey question) has been, in some weeks, 14 times higher than it was last year, according to the Census. The most recent Census data from the end of August had 10% of households saying they sometimes, or often, had not had enough to eat within the prior seven days. The Agriculture Department’s 2019 study on food insecurity in America was released in September. For Black and Latino households it was 19% and 17%, respectively; for White households, 7%. Overall, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) estimated that about 5 million school-age children did not have enough to eat in August, in their parents’ or caretakers’ judgment.

At the Rose Garden press announcement, the President said that the mortality rate in COVID cases has dropped by 80% since April; the hospitalization rate, by 48% since May.

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