As a public high school teacher, I took particular interest in the recent comments from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre regarding the ordered school closures during the coronavirus pandemic.
In case you missed it, Jean-Pierre claimed that it was the mismanagement of the Trump administration that kept schools closed against the best efforts of Democrats. Luckily, as she tells it, President Biden assumed office and got those schools open within 6 months. Watch for yourself:
Have we gotten to the point where everyone believes it's acceptable for officers of public administration to lie to the press and people? I'm not naïve. I know that politicians spin, and that media contorts, and that everyone interprets things through a lens of their own prior bias. In our modern era where no one is allowed to admit their faults, I honestly don't expect a public official or their spokeswoman to go out and fall on a sword.
But that's not what this is. This? This is flagrantly lying when everyone in the room knows you are lying. It's Baghdad-Bob-type antics. It's shameless. She wouldn't even have to "accept responsibility" for school closures. She could argue that while the data is certainly pointing to a devastating lack of progress for young people due to COVID school closures, that reality is still preferable to the kind of death and suffering that was the alternative.
But to stand behind that podium and stammer over your words, trying to choke out of your mouth the bold-faced lie that Democrats were the ones working diligently to get schools open is such a betrayal of the public trust I'm not sure why any self-respecting member of the press would grace another one of Karine Jean-Pierre's awkward, unprepared briefings.
If there was any question just how over-the-top absurd her assertion was, Grabien Media's Tom Elliott came with perhaps the most devastating thread of videos I've ever seen to dismantle an administration narrative. Behold:
Again, I understand why Jean-Pierre is trying to rewrite history. It has become common knowledge that the lockdowns and shuttered schools were egregiously unnecessary, and that they inflicted lasting, permanent, unrecoverable damage on kids.
But you just can't pretend no one remembers or has a record of the last three years. You just can't pretend these types of charts and information don't exist:
There's simply no denying which political movement was making every effort to re-open or keep open schools and which political movement was lobbying for continued closures and so-called "remote" learning. The devastating drops in scores that are just now beginning to surface are a result of the latter's efforts alone.
In my line of business (that is, education), all this means there needs to be creative and innovative minds working frantically to develop a rescue plan. In Jean-Pierre's line of business (that is, politics and lawmaking), all this means there needs to be accountability.
Voters will have their first opportunity to exercise that in just a couple months.
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