In following the local school board election, I was particularly struck by the campaigns of the two challengers, Jessica Thompson and Jason Uemoto. One of the basic issues on which the two focus, seems to be the question of the state’s school mask mandate, which both seem to vigorously oppose. In explaining her position, Ms. Thompson, on her campaign website argues that “science and research has shown that our children are not the ones at risk of the virus or the ones spreading the virus.”
There is, however, clear scientific evidence and readily available data that belies this assertion. This newspaper recently reported on rising rates among children locally. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association are clear about the growing risk. They reported, for example, that in the week ending Sept. 11, 243,000 children tested positive for COVID, with children accounting for 28.9% of all cases. Since children make up 22.2% of the population, they were being infected at a higher rate than adults. At that point 2,200 children were hospitalized. The organizations further reported that cases among kids have been rising “exponentially” with more than 1 million pediatric cases reported in August alone. A further concern is that the long-term effect of the virus on children is not yet fully understood.
It would seem, then, that the principal feature of the campaign conducted by the challengers is based upon a potentially dangerous fallacy. A recent contributor to this page lauded Ms. Thompson for her common sense. I fail to see how advocating a policy which unnecessarily puts our children at potential risk in any way demonstrates common sense.
Not much needs to be added concerning Mr. Uemoto’s campaign since the two challengers seem to parrot each other’s responses, likely gleaned from the online FreedomWorks school board candidate academy. Suffice it to say that Mr. Uemoto’s comparison of Dr. Anthony Fauci with Joseph Mengele, the notorious Nazi doctor who conducted gruesome and inevitably deadly experiments on children at the death camp at Auschwitz, is both insulting and simply ludicrous. As a result I can only assume that he is not a serious candidate.
I would urgently encourage support for the re-election of the experienced, serious and informed candidates in this race, John Diamond and Eric Mann. They have demonstrated their commitment and fully understand the significant challenges facing the district.
Bernd Fischer, Ph. D.