The Recovery Report is a weekly newsletter about America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic from Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis (SSOCC) Republicans. 

Coronavirus Facts of the Week:

Seven months. That’s the amount of time the average student could fall behind academically if schools do not reopen until next year, according to June analysisfrom McKinsey & Company. That number jumps up to 10 months for Black and Latino students. Other research published by Brown University projects that “students are likely to return in fall 2020 with approximately 63-68% of the learning gains in reading relative to a typical school year and with 37-50% of the learning gains in math.”

Coronavirus Quote of the Week:

“School closures affect more than just learning. As the NAACP has pointed out, ‘for students of color at all levels across the country, school closings create problems even more urgent than the interruption of their educations. Schools also serve as a community nexus for food and for housing.’” – White House Press Secretary Kaleigh McEnany, July 9, 2020

Bogus Narrative of the Week:

President Trump and working parents all over the country want to see students return to school in the fall. So naturally, Democrats have responded with doomsday predictions and anti-science fear-mongering about how the president, as speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) put it, is “messing with the health of our children.” Off the Hill, Democrat candidates are already gearing up to turn the issue into a political football on the campaign trail.

Why it’s false:

Given what we now know about the virus and the capabilities we have to facilitate a return to classroom learning, it’s clear that Democrats are once again ignoring reality to score political points, this time to the detriment of our nation’s children.

First off, as Education Secretary Betsy Devos explained on Sunday, “We know that children get the virus at a far lower rate than any other part of the population” and “there is nothing in the data that would suggest that kids being back in school is dangerous to them.” And the numbers are in accord. The Heritage Foundation’s Rachel Greszler writes that “Kids are less likely to contract the virus (in the U.S., children represent about 22% of the population, but only 1.7% of COVID-19 cases), are less likely to spread it to others (a study of 54 Dutch families found no indication of children under 12 transmitting the disease), and are less likely to have severe symptoms if they do contract the virus.” Indeed, “When children are infected, there is wide agreement that they are less likely to get seriously ill compared with adults,” former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb explains in a Wall Street Journal column that also argues that reopening is “critical for meeting the educational and social needs of children” and that there are safe ways to do it. Analyzing the various studies of the virus’ effects on children, medical doctor Kevin Pham concludes that getting kids back to the classroom “may be one of the safest activities the nation can restart with tremendous benefit for Americans.”

Furthermore, much like blanket economic lockdowns, keeping kids out of the classroom comes with its own set of negative consequences that Americans cannot afford to ignore. Keeping our children isolated is bad for both their educational and social development, and their overall wellbeing. Recent guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that:

The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020.

Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits, as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation.

This, in turn, places children and adolescents at considerable risk of morbidity and, in some cases, mortality.

Americans must heed the advice of scientists and the experts on reopening schools and not spend time playing politics with our children’s health, education, and futures.

This Week’s SSOCC Highlights:

On Friday, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis will hold a remote hearing with former Federal Reserve chairs to examine America’s response to our lockdown-driven coronavirus pandemic.

Committee Headlines:

Coronavirus News of the Week:

Coronavirus Headlines:

Why reopening remains critical:
The Opinion Pages:
Coronavirus Public Health Update:
  • There have been over 3.3 million cases and over 135,000 deaths in the United States, as reported by Johns Hopkins. There have been over 12.9 million cases and over 570,000 deaths worldwide.
  • The number of deaths reported each day has begun to increase.
  • The US is now performing over 700,000 COVID-19 tests per day. The nationwide positivity rate, or percentage of tests coming back positive results, is over 8%.
The Response on Social Media:

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is still trying to dodge accountability for his deadly nursing home order; last week, his administration published a highly suspicious report as yet the latest attempt to shift the blame. Unfortunately for him, anyone who’s been paying attention could see right through it:

And yet Cuomo still won’t cooperate with Select Subcommittee Republicans’ investigation, but we won’t let him get away with it:
But there are still plenty of media figures out there who still find ways to overlook Cuomo’s actions and praise his response. Those folks have gotten their own set of reality checks lately:

Other Coronavirus Activity This week:

Monday, July 13, 2020

House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations Hearing
Oversight of ICE Detention Facilities: Examining ICE Contractors’ Response to COVID-19 (2:00 p.m. ET)

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy WebEx Briefing
“Guardrails to Ensure a Safe and Effective COVID-19 Vaccine” (10:45 a.m. ET)

House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy Hybrid Hearing
“Oversight of DOE During the COVID-19 Pandemic”  (12:00 p.m. ET)

House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Management, and Accountability Hearing
Reviewing Federal and State Pandemic Supply Preparedness and Response (12:00 p.m. ET)

House Financial Services Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets Subcommittee Hearing
Promoting Economic Recovery: Examining Capital Markets and Worker Protections in the COVID-19 Era (12:00 p.m. ET)

House Foreign Affairs Europe, Eurasia, and the Environment Subcommittee Hearing
The Importance of Transatlantic Cooperation During the COVID-19 Pandemic (2:00 p.m. ET)

House Science, Space, and Technology Hearing
Sweltering in Place: COVID-19, Extreme Heat, and Environmental Justice (2:00 p.m. ET)

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

House Committee on Oversight and Reform Hearing
H.R. 7331, the National Cyber Director Act (12:00 p.m. ET)

House Small Business Committee Hearing
Long-Lasting Solutions for a Small Business Recovery (1:00 p.m. ET)

House Committee on the Budget Hearing
Software Update Required: COVID-19 Expenses Need for Federal Investments in Technology (2:00 p.m. ET)

Thursday, July 16, 2020

House Financial Services, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Hearing
Protecting Homeowners During the Pandemic: Oversight of Mortgage Servicers’ Implementation of the CARES Act (12:00 p.m. ET)

House Small Business, Innovation and Workforce Development Subcommittee Hearing
Putting America Back to Work: The Role of Workforce Development and Small Business Rehiring (1:00 p.m. ET)

Friday, July 17, 2020

House Small Business Committee Meeting
Oversight of the Small Business Administration and Department of Treasury Pandemic Programs (10:30 a.m. ET)

House Ways and Means Committee, Social Security Subcommittee Hearing
The Impact of COVID-19 on Social Security and its Beneficiaries (12:00 p.m. ET)