Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker wrote on August 7 that despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, American schools should reopen. Parker’s column was written despite a now dubious 2016 column predicting the country would be “fine” if Donald Trump won the election.
In her recent column entitled “Covid-19 isn’t going anywhere. So schools must reopen,” Parker writes, “Children need to be in school; parents need to return to work; the world needs to keep turning.”
Despite noting that she is under “no personal risk,” Parker argues that teachers and other school employees must nonetheless face potential exposure to the virus that has killed more than 157,000 Americans and infected over 4 million in the United States.
Parker’s rhetoric is similar to Donald Trump, who has pushed for school reopenings despite a deadly resurgence of the virus that has killed as many as 2,000 Americans in one day.
Experts have said that reopening schools could lead to disaster, not only exposing children to the virus (despite a lower risk of death than adults), but also allowing the virus to be spread via children attending schools with haphazard preventative measures and equipment in place.
Parker advocates for a potentially dangerous policy across the country despite her wildly off the mark 2016 column.
“Calm down. We’ll be fine no matter who wins,” Parker wrote on November 4, 2016.
“If Trump wins, he’ll be held more or less in check by the House and Senate because that’s the way our system of government is set up. Not even Republicans are eager to follow Trump’s lead,” she wrote.
Parker added, “He won’t impose any religion-based immigration restrictions, because even Trump isn’t that lame-brained. He’ll dress up and behave at state dinners and be funny when called upon.”
As millions of Americans are now aware, Trump did much of what Parker unequivocally said he would not.
Even on a relatively trivial issue, Parker was wildly off the mark.
“He’ll even invite the media to the White House holiday party,” Parker wrote.
In fact, Trump canceled the White House holiday party for the press.
When Parker wrote her 2016 column, many observers who turned out to be right ridiculed her positive outlook.
Now, in 2020, the same columnist has staked out a position diametrically opposed to the combined expertise of many who are deeply involved in infectious diseases.