Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel called on Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom to open public schools in the state, citing research that shows children are not the primary spreaders of COVID-19.
Siegel’s comments came as San Diego and Los Angeles schools announced online-only public schools in the fall and Newsom closed bars and indoor dining at restaurants in the state to combat a recent spike in coronavirus cases.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson introduced the Monday night “Tucker Carlson Tonight” segment by pointing out schools opening elsewhere “with none of the restrictions” U.S. schools are contemplating. He then played a clip of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accusing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of “malfeasance.”
“This is what happens when science intersects with politics,” Carlson said. “Both lose, and the country loses most of all. Keeping kids out of school, keeping the elderly inside, forcing everyone to wear a mask when there is no evidence that helps, all of these become statements of resistance and moral imperatives.”
While Siegel expressed support for Newsom’s closure of bars, he contended that schools “could not be more different.”
“But you know when you can tell a politician?” he asked. “When they are talking about bars and schools at the same time. Schools are about public health. Schools are places of nutrition. Schools are places of learning. Schools are places to handle mental health issues and special needs. That’s schools.”
“And in fact physicians at the University of Vermont just published a commentary in a major journal, Pediatrics, looking at four studies around the world,” Siegel explained. “In Switzerland, in New South Wales, in China, in France, pointing out that children in school and out are not the spreaders of COVID-19. Over 95% of the time it’s adults spreading to children or adults spreading to each other. Children are not the source. So we can’t target them and take them out of schools. Very big tragedy from a public health point of view.”
After making the case for the important role of teachers in the development of children, Siegel called on the governor to “be a leader and not just a politician.” (RELATED: ‘Counter To Science’: Dr. Scott Atlas Makes The Case For Reopening Schools In The Fall)
“Close the bars but open the schools in L.A. and San Diego,” he said.
“Follow the science,” Carlson added. “We will trust you when you follow the science. We won’t trust you when you follow your political imperatives and that’s what they are doing.”