Given the high stakes this is, to say the least, dangerous and irresponsible.
I have to say that she's a bit messy with her numbers, to be honest. For example she says that there were 3.2 million infants (age 0-1) in this country in 2018 but the source that she uses actually says it's 3.848 million for 2018.
It's not a big deal for your final point, Wendy, but if you're claiming to have "the real numbers" you really should make sure that what you say on air faithfully represents what your source says.
Kinda makes your research sloppy when you get simple stuff like this wrong.
In any event, Wendy boils all those numbers down to this factoid: there have been only 226 deaths from Covid-19 out of a total population of about 103 million student aged (0-24 years) Americans.
That's the beginning and end of her "See? it's safe to reopen schools!" argument (she throws in some "seasonal flu" statistics for old times sake, too).
Here's what she leaves out (and this is the dangerous part):
- The virus is extremely contagious. So even if it doesn't kill very many high school students, those high school students who are infected, can infect lots of other people - some of whom will get sick and some of those will die.
- The virus can still do a great deal of damage to school age kids without killing them.
In the heated debate over reopening schools, one burning question has been whether and how efficiently children can spread the virus to others.
A large new study from South Korea offers an answer: Children younger than 10 transmit to others much less often than adults do, but the risk is not zero. And those between the ages of 10 and 19 can spread the virus at least as well as adults do.
The findings suggest that as schools reopen, communities will see clusters of infection take root that include children of all ages, several experts cautioned.
Then there's the damage that the virus can do to the very young:
Two new studies released this week shed some light on how a rare but potentially deadly syndrome affects children exposed to COVID-19.
The studies, one of which was led by Boston Children's Hospital, were both published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers found that the coronavirus-related illness known as multi-system inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, appeared to be caused when a child's immune system overreacts to the virus and inflames other systems in the body.
In either case, you're misleading your fans, Wendy. And as a result some of them may get sick.
I'll ask it again, how are you OK with this?
And I'll ask KDKA Radio the same thing: How are you OK with Wendy Bell putting her listening audience at risk but giving them incomplete or flawed information regarding Covid-19?
This is not a matter of opinion. The public health depends on it.