Twitter users offered Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali thoughts and prayers this morning for his overblown fear of maskless children. His tweet was almost as sad as Brian Stelter missing a deadline because he crawled into bed and cried for our pre-pandemic lives (yes, this happened and Stelter tweeted about it).
I see packed restaurants and people inside stores and malls and their kids aren’t wearing masks. I feel I’m in a horror movie.
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) June 27, 2021
Pandemic refers to the global experience and spread of the disease. According to CDC data, while other locations worldwide are suffering from high illness rates, the United States is not. The seven-day average of new cases is down 4.4% nationally over the previous week, continuing a declining trend that began in March. There have been local exceptions, like a spike in cases in Michigan early in the year. However, these were generally confined to states with severe, lengthy lockdowns and school closures.
Next, even President Joe Biden knows that children are the people we should fear for the least when it comes to COVID-19. In a town hall, he told a second-grader who was scared about getting COVID-19 or getting her parents sick, “You’re the safest group of people in the world, number one. Number two, you’re not likely to be able to be exposed to something [COVID] and spread it to mommy or daddy.”
President Biden reassures second-grader about Covid during CNN town hall: “Don’t be scared, you’re going to be fine, and we’re going to make sure mommy’s fine, too” #BidenTownHall https://t.co/J7VHUVX8RU pic.twitter.com/kg5uQWmlUL
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 17, 2021
Nothing about that science has changed, and we now know that far more deadly pathogens are collecting on the facemasks children are using. As our Townhall colleague Scott Morefield reported, parents in Gainesville, Florida, had their children’s facemasks analyzed by a laboratory and found 11 dangerous pathogens in the masks, including ones that cause tuberculosis and meningitis. I would rather have an outbreak of COVID-19 in my child’s classroom than either of those illnesses, since children rarely suffer even minor symptoms from the former.
Even the Delta variant is not a reason to panic, according to data from the U.K. National Health Service. Their tracking program is identifying the variant in those who present ill for testing. The case fatality rate or death rate among those with a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 caused by the Delta variant is 0.3%. If, as advertised, the variant is significantly more transmissible, the infection fatality rate (IFR) may approach the World Health Organization’s IFR for the annual flu at 0.1%.
Ali is just a casualty of the narrative his own profession has been pushing for nearly 18 months. The corporate and left-wing media throw around scary words like transmissibility, the number of cases, and asymptomatic spread without ever explaining what they mean. There are evolutionary pressures that drive viruses to become more transmissible and less deadly. A virus that kills a large share of its hosts does not endure. That is why Ebola outbreaks remain relatively small if communities apply proper infection control techniques to initial cases.
Months ago, a group of researchers predicted that COVID-19 would become less virulent or able to cause severe illness. Because children do not suffer severe illness, they proposed that it was likely to become endemic and no more of an issue than many common colds. Colds are very transmissible, occur in high numbers, and can be passed from one person to another before specific symptoms appear. If the U.K.’s experience with the Delta variant to date is any indicator, this could very well be where COVID-19 is headed.