Data available on the Tennessee Department of Health’s (TDOH) website suggests the flu endangers more children in the state versus the effects of COVID-19.
One recent flu epidemic claimed the lives of about 10 Tennessee children. TDOH’s most recent data says COVID-19 has claimed the life of only one child in the state.
This, even though politicians and government bureaucrats did not impose mask mandates upon the state’s K-12 public school students during recent and prolonged flu events.
Tennessee Stands Executive Director Gary Humble told The Tennessee Star on Friday that government officials have access to the same TDOH data — but they nevertheless want to impose stricter requirements upon public school students during COVID-19 versus the flu.
Tennessee Stands, according to its website, calls on state and local officials “to restore our constitutional republic.” The group is based out of Williamson County.
“In the grand scheme of things, the powers that be, whether it be the feds or whomever it is pulling the strings at the top, well, this is about control. This has always been about control,” Humble said.
“We have contended from the very beginning, way before the vaccine was ever developed, that these masking requirements were simply a training ground of compliance so that when the vaccine rolled out you would get predominantly compliance from the population. That is what this is. This is compliance training.”
TDOH data this week stated the following:
• Children represent 18.4 percent of all cumulative cases, with most cases among 14-to-18-year-old children. For the week of August 22, there were 21,468 cases of COVID-19 among children, comprising 37.6 percent of all cases. For the week of August 29, there were 14,627 cases among children, comprising 31.4 percent of all cases.
• According to 2019 population estimates, Tennessee has nearly 1.3 million children between the ages of five to 18.
According to the Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many children with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) either had the virus that causes COVID-19 or were around someone with COVID-19.
According to TDOH documents dated September 7, children under 18 with MIS-C spent 5.6 days in the hospital. Exactly 45 percent of those children spent time in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), usually for a period of about four days. The TDOH reported four probable cases and 179 confirmed cases. One child died.
According to the CDC, children afflicted with MIS-C have inflamed body parts, including in the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.
The Memphis-based Action News 5 reported in February of last year — shortly before COVID-19 hit the United States — that one pediatric flu event killed 10 children in Tennessee.
“According to the Tennessee Health Department, only one child died during last flu season. During the 2017-2018 flu season 10 children died,” the station reported at the time.
“Doctors say different complications of the flu can be deadly to different children, but they know a flu shot will protect anyone.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved that flu vaccine.
TDOH documents report 11 pediatric influenza deaths for the 2019-2020 flu season.
TDOH spokesman Bill Christian this week did not answer The Star’s specific questions about the effects of COVID-19 upon children versus the flu. But, in an emailed statement, he said COVID-19 vaccines are the most effective way to manage the risk against the virus, including the Delta variant.
“Masks help to slow the spread of the virus. They also help keep people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others,” Christian said.
“Wear masks in public settings when around people not living in your household and particularly where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations.”
The Bethesda, Maryland-based U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health analyzed the effects of COVID-19 mask mandates on mortality and hospital resource consumption in Bexar County, Texas.
“There was no reduction in per-population daily mortality, hospital bed, ICU bed, or ventilator occupancy of COVID-19-positive patients attributable to the implementation of a mask-wearing mandate,” according to the study, published this month.
This month, a Harvard Medical School professor said he does not know if surgical mask efficacy is more than zero percent.
As for the flu, National Public Radio (NPR), citing medical professionals, reported in May that the risk that COVID-19 makes a child seriously ill is extremely small compared to the risk children face if and when they get the flu.
“To date, out of more than 74 million children in the United States, there have been about 300 COVID-19 deaths and a few thousand serious illnesses. By comparison, the CDC registered 188 flu-related deaths in children during the 2019-2020 flu season. (This past year, there was essentially no flu season at all.),” NPR reported.
“Hospitalization numbers look worse for COVID-19. But those numbers are inflated as a result of the CDC’s reporting rules. The CDC requires every child admitted to a hospital to be tested for the coronavirus. Dr. Roshni Mathew, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, says experience at her hospital found that 45 percent of the time, a child who tested positive for the coronavirus was not actually sick with COVID-19.”
‘These Are Political Decisions’
Humble said Friday that he had not seen this specific data, but he said politicians must reevaluate their actions.
“Now, why are local officials playing ball [with the masking narrative]? Why are local school boards making these types of mandates? Why is our General Assembly and our governor seemingly complicit in the sense that they continue to say these are local decisions? They continue to enable these local decision makers to issue these mandates. I am having trouble figuring out the why to that question. I don’t know why, other than maybe some of them have bought into the lies that everyone else has bought into, and this is all fear-based response,” Humble said.
“I think probably some of what you are seeing is party-line politics. Look, school boards run nonpartisan races, but we know there is nothing nonpartisan about those races. You have Democrats. You have Republicans. With that label comes a certain ideology. And so are these folks maybe just towing the party line? Most Republicans don’t want the mandates. Some do. Almost all of the Democrats in elected positions believe in government control and making these mandates. Perhaps the answer is simply party-line politics. No one is thinking for themselves. No one is looking at data. These are all political decisions.”
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