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Opinion

The damage done to children during the pandemic was inexcusable and entirely avoidable

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The panic over COVID-19 led politicians, bureaucrats, and institutions to support policies that didn’t protect children but did harm their development. All of those involved must be made to answer for their failures.

Speech pathologists and therapists are now seeing developmental deficits in children due to COVID-19 measures, including mask mandates and isolation. Children are struggling to read facial cues, and children who were already attending speech therapy before the pandemic are even more delayed. Children born during the pandemic have lower verbal, motor, and cognitive ability scores than those born before, according to researchers from Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital.

Mask mandates and quarantines for children never made sense, as children were not at serious risk from COVID-19. Yet politicians and bureaucrats imposed those measures anyway, unnecessarily burdening children for years to “protect” them from a disease that was less dangerous to them than the flu.

But it wasn’t just spineless politicians and useless bureaucrats who failed children. The American Academy of Pediatrics has allowed itself to be consumed by left-wing politics, and so it too defended mask mandates for children. The AAP had a flyer on its website asserting the importance of “face time” for infants. It removed that flyer, instead claiming that masks do not “delay babies’ speech of language development” and that people should have no worries about widespread masking.

The damage done to children during a pandemic that was most lethal to the elderly and the obese is unconscionable. Between mandatory masking, school closures, quarantines, and the cancellation of youth and school sports, children were put last throughout the pandemic despite being the safest from the virus. Politicians, health bureaucrats, the AAP, school boards, and education officials all failed, and children will be suffering the consequences for years to come.

Aside from China’s cover-up of the origins of the virus, this is the most important problem of the pandemic that must be addressed and rectified. Everyone who used government power to impose restrictions on children must never be allowed to hold government power again, and organizations such as the AAP must answer for how they missed the mark so drastically. The treatment of children during the pandemic was a travesty. Worst of all, it was entirely avoidable.

Washington Examiner

Political news and commentary about Congress, the president and the federal government from the Washington Examiner.

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