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July 28, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Deaths from suicides and drug overdoses currently exceed deaths due to the COVID-19 virus, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) director Dr. Robert Redfield warned during a medical presentation earlier this month.
“I think that the cost to our nation in continuing to keep these schools closed is substantial, and I’m hopeful that resources that are necessary can be made available,” Redfield said during a July 14 webinar hosted by the Buck Institute. “But there has been another cost that we’ve seen, particularly in high schools.”
“We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID,” he lamented. “We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above excess that we had as background than we are seeing the deaths from COVID.”
Redfield went on to stress that this is why health must be viewed in light of the “overall social being of individuals,” which in this instance, he argued required working to “get these schools open in a way that people are comfortable and they’re safe.”
While the CDC chief did not explicitly link those deaths to state lockdowns and school closures, many have argued that the mental and emotional health risks of prolonged isolation would be as dangerous or more dangerous than the coronavirus itself in many cases, particularly among the young, for whom COVID-19 is less dangerous than for the elderly or immunocompromised.
In May, a group of more than 500 doctors wrote President Donald Trump to raise awareness of the “short, medium, and long-term harm to people’s health with a continued shutdown … The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse.”
The Trump administration has forcefully advocated that public schools reopen this fall. Yet despite the above concerns, and despite evidence that children and teachers would be at little-to-no risk, recent polls indicate that majorities remain wary of reopening.
The president’s supporters are also divided on the question, albeit for different reasons. While most conservatives and Republicans support reopening the economy and lifting lockdowns, many are also content to leave public schools dormant out of a desire not to send children back to classrooms where they will be fed radical sex-education lessons and biased, Black Lives Matter-fueled lessons on race and American history.