Mayor De'Blasio seeks to be King of a Covid Comeback, but has proven to be the Jester of Safety.
September 1, 2021
I write this piece as both a Single Father and Advocate. It is my duty to make sure that the public knows the truth. The numbers of children who have died, due to Covid and complications related to Covid has been increasing drastically in the United States. In the past week, over 121 children have died in the U.S. Since last week, there has been 121,000 more cases of children ages 6 months and up being diagnosed with Covid. In various states, the pediatric intensive care units are full and there is no more room. The Mayor has been pushing vaccination as a cure all, which is dangerous. It has isolated those who are not able to be vaccinated. The vaccine alone is not an adequate means to stop Covid. Breakthrough cases and hospitalizations of both vaccinated and unvaccinated have increased, as well as the number of those admitted to the ICU. We must have an adequate mask mandate, social distancing protocol and a remote learning option for children.
Here in New York, Covid cases have been increasing and our children are being in harms way by Mayor De'Blasio, Chancellor Porter, the Department of Education and De'Blasio's Health Commissioner; Dave Chokshi. The have lied about there being upgraded and adequate ventilation systems in our schools. Many of the schools only have basic air conditioners and some only have windows that open a few inches. This is inadequate ventilation. Mayor De'Blasio and the DOE spent millions on air purifiers that they have stated were HEPA, when in fact they are not. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children's Hospital Association (CHA) found that just under 204,000 new child COVID-19 cases were reported last week. There have been over 4.8 Million cases of youth with Covid since the onset of the pandemic. The Mayor's school reopening plan, fails to provide the safe environment for a school return. There will be less testing, no adequate ventilation, continuous overcrowding in classrooms, lack of sanitation and social distancing protocols and no remote learning option.
While the Mayor chooses to not prioritize the well being and safety of our children, he has remote press conferences to keep himself and his staff safe. The DOE remains closed and has their staff working remotely. The Caribbean Day Parade and Labor Day Parade have been cancelled, due to Covid safety concerns. All of this, but yet our children are still having their safety put at risk, with their being no remote learning option. Be it because of political ego, political vanity or the thirst for federal funding, it is unethical and immoral. Majority of the school districts, even those who wanted to hold out till the end, have committed to a remote learning option to keep children safe. The Mayor, Chancellor and Health Commissioner have put their" false image as "Covid Heroes" as a priority above the well being and safety of our children. Governor Kathy Hochul, has failed to budge on implementing a remote learning option in the state. She has claimed to talk to stakeholders and wants to make the best decision, but yet parents, teachers and advocates in Black and Brown communities have yet to have a sit down or any type of communication with our New Governor. They are stakeholders as well.
So until the Mayor does right, groups like MORE-UFT, UFT Solidarity and others, as well as parents and advocates like myself and many others, will continue this fight for the safety of our children. And of course, the fight to keep our teachers and school staff safe as well.
*Anthony Beckford is a single father, Disabled United States Marine Corps Veteran, Community Leader, President of Black Lives Matter Brooklyn, Founder of New York Advocates For Change (NYAC), Save Our Youth Initiative (SOYI) and New York City Political Coalition (NYCPC).. Also the host of Real Talk With Anthony B.