A key public health priority for our state must be reclaiming evidence based policy and actual science.
Thankfully we now have even more scientific evidence that Iowa made the right calls to get our kids back in school ASAP, and making sure they weren't burdened with useless masking during the pandemic
Of all the bizarre public health decisions made during the COVID era, perhaps the most disruptive to society was the closure of schools.
Incredibly revealing was the intense protest from teachers unions, starting in the summer of 2020, against any step intended to bring normalcy or stability to our kids.
It's important to remember: teachers union members literally staged their own death and penned their own obituaries in order to dramatize as much fear and anxiety as possible.
Thanks to new data published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) -- we have further evidence to show that these sorts of outlandish hysterics from teachers unions was totally idiotic.
Researchers looked at two distinct time periods:
First, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021:
...when examining 8 School Districts, 70 schools, and >33,000 students, researchers found:
A GRAND TOTAL of 29 cases of COVID transmitted while at school.
9 cases among staff members and 20 cases among students...
Second, Fall 2021 (during the delta wave, after Joe Biden the terrible announced his tyrannical mandates):
researchers examined 34 schools across 4 districts, >18,000 students...
A GRAND TOTAL of 44 cases transmitted at school -- all students.
One interesting tidbit also revealed in this study -- during both periods examined by the researchers -- more students transmitted COVID when they were masked!!
Suffice it to say, researchers concluded the prevalence of COVID transmission at school was low.
However, this study doesn't really come as a surprise.
Serious observers recognized early on that children spread COVID infrequently compared to adults, and that schools were probably not going to be big contributors to new covid cases.
French researchers published a paper April 11, 2020, when the pandemic was still in its infancy, showing an infected nine-year-old child who had not transmitted the disease “despite close interactions within schools.”
Yet sadly, teachers unions ignored all sensibility and decided instead to ignite a political firestorm that's still smoldering to this day.
It would be really helpful if the teachers union would admit they overreacted a bit, and stopped playing politics with the health of our children.
Thankfully, Iowans now have this scientific evidence to back up our historic, first in the nation state laws which placed kids back in schools and then made sure they didn't have to learn wearing masks.
I won't pretend like Iowa was perfect in this regard, mistakes were made and sins were committed, even here in Iowa.
It took a lot of work and unnecessary suffering to get those laws enacted, and the teachers unions, Democrats, and weak Republicans fought us every inch of the way.
The harm is real. Sins can only truly be forgiven when they are never repeated.
That's why I will continue to be a legislative leader for sound science and evidence based public health policy.
I'm particularly excited to be bringing my perspective and data driven approach to the State's Children Behavioral Health Board -- so we can start fixing this mess.
Because of this nonsense, our children are still suffering.
But if we wish to understand why the diagnoses of mental illness among children is rising so sharply -- we only have to look so far as the mentally ill adults, who's blind panic, anxious rage, and depressed spiritual outlook, only serve to deprive life of happiness and joy.
It's my hope that the learning experience of the pandemic has helped us build a 'herd immunity' to the blatant emotional manipulation tactics of these politically motivated groups.
Rep. Jeff Shipley
P.S. I need your help to reclaim our public health! If you liked this letter -- please CLICK HERE to make an urgent contribution and give us the resources we need to put our data driven health message at the forefront of Iowa!