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:
- Due to government orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as many as 80 million U.S. students were out of school in 2020.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented school closures around the world. As of May, an estimated 70 percent of children globally (or more than 1 billion students) have been affected by school closures.
- Children aged 5–14 are seven times more likely to die of influenza than of COVID-19. Children aged 1–4 are 20 times more likely to die of influenza. Overall, Americans under the age of 25 represent 0.15 percent of all COVID-19 fatalities in the U.S.
Coronavirus Quote of the Week:
“The AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school. 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.” — The American Academy of Pediatrics
Bogus Narrative of the Week:
The LA Teacher’s Union, consisting of 35,000 members, released a series of demands that should be met before reopening schools:
- Federal Bailout: (their words) – “Many experts are calling for at least $500 billion in additional federal assistance this year, and a commitment to continue support over several years.”
- Medicare for All
- Wealth Tax: “A new tax on unrealized capital gains to California billionaires only, 1% a year until capital gains taxes are met.”
- Millionaire Tax: “Add a 1% surtax on incomes over $1 million a year, and 3% for over $3 million a year. This would generate an estimated $4.5 billion-plus a year.”
- Defund Police: “We must shift the astronomical amount of money devoted to policing, to education.”
- Housing Security
- Financial Support for Undocumented Students and Families
The union also falsely stated: “As it stands, the only people guaranteed to benefit from the premature physical reopening of schools amidst a rapidly accelerating pandemic are billionaires and the politicians they’ve purchased.”
Why it’s false:
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics,
“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.”
The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (@FREOPP) released an important research paper on why and how schools must reopen. Some key excerpts:
- “Children from lower-income families have fewer opportunities to learn outside of school. Researchers have found that differences in outside of school learning opportunities contribute to the academic achievement gap between rich and poor children. The current situation is likely exacerbating this opportunity gap, particularly since poor children are less likely to have internet access at home.”
- “American schools provide food to more than half of the school aged population.Nearly 30 million children receive free or reduced-price lunch through the National School Lunch Program.”
- “The child care sector has also experienced significant disruption, which may have lasting consequences. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 330,000 child care workers have lost their jobs during the pandemic. A Bipartisan Policy Center survey found that 60 percent of child care providers were closed as of April.”
- “A national survey of American parents found that 71 percent believed their children learned less than they would have had schools remained open. That survey also found that 40 percent of students had no individual interactions with teachers.”
- “Brown University researchers studied existing evidence about how time out of school affects student learning and projected the potential impacts of school closures during the pandemic. They found:
“Under these projections, 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. However, we estimate that losing ground during the COVID-19 school closures would not be universal, with the top third of students potentially making gains in reading.”
- “In Iceland, a group of researchers conducted a population-wide survey of SARS-CoV-2 infection that was published in June in the New England Journal of Medicine. Kari Stefansson, one of the leaders of the group, said of the study, ‘Children under 10 are less likely to get infected than adults, and if they get infected, they are less likely to get seriously ill. What is interesting is that even if children do get infected, they are less likely to transmit the disease to other adults. We have not found a single instance of a child infecting parents.’
- “In Europe, reopening schools has not led to a rise in COVID-19 cases. Denmark reopened schools on April 15, the first Western country to do so. But ‘you cannot see any negative effects from the reopening of schools,’ said Peter Andersen of the Danish Serum Institute.”
- “Norway reopened schools on April 20, and cases there continue to trend downward. Austria reopened schools on May 18, and has not seen an increase in infections. Similar trends hold in Germany and Finland. A study of 541 students in northern France found zero cases of an infection transmitting from student to teacher.”
- “A more meaningful risk: Adult-to-adult transmission in schools:
“The relatively low risk of transmission from children to adults does not mean that schools should take no precautions. Indeed, the possibility of transmission from adults to other adults in schools remains. Younger teachers, especially those under 45, are at lower risk of serious illness and death. But older teachers and those with certain underlying cardiovascular, metabolic, or autoimmune conditions will need to take extra precautions, and in some cases stay home, in order to protect themselves.”
This Week’s SSOCC Highlights:
The Select Subcommittee does not have a hearing scheduled for this week.
Last week, the Select Subcommittee held a hearing on “Responding to Our Nation’s Economic Crisis.” Select Subcommittee Democrats refused Republicans’ request for a minority witness to testify at the hearing, in violation of Congressional rules.
During the hearing, Whip Scalise outlined four guiding principles for pandemic recovery:
- Federal policy should reward and support America’s workers.
- Educating our children safely IN classrooms is a paramount responsibility, not an aspirational goal.
- Federal policy should accelerate innovation, research, and manufacturing here in the United States.
- Only a healthy and growing economy can support long term, sustainable and equitable prosperity.
As Democrats accuse President Trump of “messing with the health of our children” in his facts-based push to reopen schools this fall, Whip Scalise also focused on the science and importance of reopening schools this fall:
“America must continue to forge ahead with this can-do attitude and find practical solutions to the challenges that must be solved — beginning with safely re-opening our schools. Earlier this week Vice President Pence brought his task force down to Louisiana and I spent the day with them, along with our governor — who is a Democrat — talking with school officials, public health experts, and even Coach O about the importance of getting kids back to school, and how to do it safely. Top medical experts including Dr. Birx were there and confirmed that it can be done, so it must be done.
“Children need to get back to school and continue their education —
- For many children, lost time cannot easily be made up.
- Children’s health will improve if schools re-open.
- Vaccinations will increase.
- Child nutrition for our most vulnerable children will improve.”
Whip Scalise also stressed the impact of reopening schools on our economy:
“School reopening also helps restore a healthy economy because parents can more readily get back to work.
“We should resolve that no business in America ever again compete with a federal policy that makes unemployment relief pay better than going back to work.
“Small business after small business has told me their biggest obstacle to reopening is getting their workers to come back because the temporary bonus unemployment check pays more than their salary. This flawed policy must end. . .
“While some in Washington want to continue the shutdown, have the federal government continue to float the economy and have the Federal Reserve just print more money — that is not a path to prosperity.
“We have faced big challenges throughout our history. America put a man on the moon. We can surely reopen our schools and rebuild our economy. Let’s rise to this challenge!”
“Imagine if your employees announced one day that they won’t return to work until the following conditions are met: The U.S. economy must be made more equal, and Congress must pass, among other things, Medicare for All and $500 billion more in direct aid….
“According to the union, a country that ‘leads the world in number of billionaires, per-capita energy consumption, prisoners, school shootings, and medical bankruptcy’ is ‘not the setting of community preparedness that serves as the foundation for safe classroom instruction amidst a pandemic …’
“By now you may be getting the idea that the union really doesn’t want its members to return to work. Or they’re using the pandemic as leverage to extort more money from taxpayers that they couldn’t get otherwise. Either way it’s a demonstration of how far left the nation’s public unions have moved.”
- There have been over 3.7 million cases and over 140,000 deaths in the United States, as reported by Johns Hopkins. There have been over 14.5 million cases and over 606,000 deaths worldwide.
- The number of deaths reported each day is increasing.
- The US is now performing over 700,000 COVID-19 tests per day. Growth in the nationwide positivity rate, or percentage of tests coming back positive results, has slowed and remains over 8%.
Ranking Member Scalise laid out the potential damage to students and children across our nation who are unable to attend school:
Monday, July 20, 2020
House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations
“Federal IT Modernization: How the Coronavirus Exposed Outdated Systems”(1:30 p.m. ET)
House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Economic Opportunity Subcommittee
Getting Veterans Back to Work After COVID-19” (10 a.m. ET)
House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee
“Pathway to a Vaccine: Efforts to Develop a Safe, Effective and Accessible COVID-19 Vaccine”(Virtual Hearing)” (10 a.m. ET)
House Foreign Affairs Committee, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee
“Consular Affairs and the COVID-19 Crisis: Assessing the State Department’s Response to the Pandemic” (10 a.m. ET)
House Committee on Agriculture
“An Overview of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program” (1:30 p.m. ET)
House Homeland Security Hearing
“Examining the National Response to the Worsening Coronavirus Pandemic: Part II”. (9 a.m. ET)
House Small Business Committee, Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations Subcommittee
“21st Century SBA: An Analysis of SBA’s Technology Systems” (1 p.m. ET)
House Committee on Natural Resources, Indigenous Peoples of the United States Subcommittee
“Legislative Hearing on H.R. 958, H.R. 6237, H.R. 6535, H.R. 7119” (2 p.m. ET)
Thursday, July 24, 2020
House Veterans’ Affairs Committee
“Legislative Hearing on: H.R. 6039; H.R. 6082 ;H.R. 4908;H.R. 2791; H.R. 4526; H.R. 3582 ; H.R. 96 ; H.R. 4281; H.R. 3010 ; H.R. 7163; H.R. 7111; H.R. 2435; H.R. 7287; H.R. 3228; H.R. 6141; H.R. 6493…” (10 a.m. ET)
House Committee on Oversight and Reform, National Security Subcommittee
“Empowering Women and Girls and Promoting International Security” (10 a.m. ET)
House Committee on Agriculture, Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit Subcommittee
“On Farm Energy Production: Impacts on Farm Income and Rural Communities” (10 a.m. ET)
House Education and Labor Committee, Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee
“Underfunded & Unprepared: Examining How to Overcome Obstacles to Safely Reopen Public Schools.” (10:15 a.m. ET)
House Financial Services Committee
“The Heroes Act: Providing for a Strong Economic Recovery from COVID-19” (10:30 a.m. ET)
House Committee on Natural Resources
“The Transformation of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA)” (3:30 p.m. ET)
Friday, July 25, 2020
House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Subcommittee on Environment
“FEMA’s Natural Disaster Preparedness and Response Efforts During the Coronavirus Pandemic” (9 a.m. ET)