So much for children being “stoppers.”

Courtesy of Fortune:

When it comes to the coronavirus and children, looks may be deceiving.

In a study of children under five who show mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19, those kids were found to contain higher concentrations of the virus compared to older children, teens and adults, according to researchers at a Chicago pediatric hospital and Northwestern University.

The findings come as parents, educators and policymakers around the world grapple with the question of whether it’s safe to reopen day-care centers and schools in the coming weeks.

The study, which was released Thursday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, did not test the transmission rate of children—but does raise the prospect that children could be just as, or even more, prone to COVID infection and transmission than adults, although symptoms in the vast majority of children are comparably milder, the researchers found.

“One of the things that’s come up in the whole school reopening discussion, is: since kids are less sick, is it because they have less of the virus?,” said Taylor Heald-Sargent, the lead author and a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

“And our data does not support that,” she told Fortune. As a result, “we can’t assume that kids aren’t able to spread the virus.”

You may remember that I wrote an article linking to a South Korean study that found children over ten were also quite good at spreading the virus (Link), so if you combine those findings with these it would appear that there is no age range where exposure to the virus does not place everybody around you at risk. 

So this definitely means that reopening schools will lead to a huge upswing in new cases and an increase in the virus-related death toll. 

This could explain why schools in Tennessee are taking the following actions. 

Courtesy of the Tennessean:

A day after a top official in Gov. Bill Lee’s administration said Tennessee plans to withhold the number of COVID-19 cases in schools from the public, a spokesperson said the information will not even be collected by the state.

When Lee announced guidance for school reopenings on Tuesday, state Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said Tennessee had no plans to provide the public with data on the number of coronavirus cases and deaths at schools as many return to in-person classes.

Instead, Piercey said such data sharing would be left up to individual school districts.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the state health department elaborated on the commissioner’s comments, saying patient privacy continues to be a priority.

“At this time we do not plan to ask school districts to submit formal reports to us about COVID-19 cases, and do not plan to systematically release school-specific information on cases among students and/or staff members,” spokesperson Shelley Walker said.

This suggests to me that the Republican leadership in Tennessee knows full well that reopening schools will lead to a major increase in Coronavirus cases and wants to withhold that from the public so that they are not forced to close the schools again to protect the children. 

In other words, they are going to sacrifice these babies in the interest of political expediency. 

Why do you fucking people vote Republican? Seriously, why?