#NotMyChild trends after devastating viral ad argues ‘Trump wants you to hurt your child for his reelection’

Child at a table wearing a facemask

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Will you send your kids back to school? Parents around the country are using the hashtag #NotMyChild after an anti-Trump ad went viral.

The Don Winslow short film condemns Trump’s forging ahead with the reopening of schools in the fall, even as COVID-19 cases surge around the country. Another grim milestone was reached this week with over 3.5 million Americans infected with the virus.

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There is no greater bond on earth than that between a mother and her child.

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It is an immensely powerful clip. The video begins with footage of babbling babies, a toddler’s wobbly first steps, and the many first moments that parents share with their children. Then it cuts to the President, and with somber background music, we are told: “Now Donald Trump wants you to abandon your most primal and powerful motherly instinct to protect your child.”

Trump says children don’t get coronavirus

Trump standing at a microphone

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Trump and Betsy DeVos think children don’t get coronavirus, says the narrator. The video then cuts to a montage of happy, smiling faces. All children that have died from COVID-19. The effect is chilling. Vice President Mike Pence has said schools should ignore the CDC guidelines about reopening. Trump is threatening to defund schools that refuse to reopen, even as public health experts warn it too early.

The message is strong. Donald Trump wants you to “sacrifice your own child for the sake of his reelection.” The video ends by pointing out it is not a choice between Trump or Biden, but between Trump and your child: #NotMyChild.

#NotMyChild has gone viral

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Parents across the country are outraged by the President’s willingness to endanger the lives of children by sending them back to school during a pandemic. Two days after a summer school opened in Iowa, 8 of the 60 children had temperatures of 100.4 degrees or more. The school has now moved to online learning only.

Teachers and parents around the country are reeling from contradictory information. Many are scared by cases spiking even while the President threatens to cut funding if schools don’t take the risk and reopen.

‘We can only teach people when they’re alive.’

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The most significant recent spikes in COVID-19 are coming from states most proactive in reopening. On Tuesday, Texas recorded over 10,000 new cases. Later that same day, the Texas Education Agency published guidelines for daily in-person classes. Ken Zarifis, the president of Education Austin, spoke out against reopening schools:

“We can only teach people when they’re alive,”

The White House is firmly in favor of reopening. Trump’s latest press secretary, Kate McEnany, came under colossal fire for suggesting that “the science should not stand in the way” of reopening schools.

What DOES the science say?

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Jennifer Nuzzo is an epidemiologist at John Hopkin’s University and one of the world’s leading experts on the coronavirus. She compiled this list of COVID-19 questions and answers. She has spoken out in favor of schools reopening in the fall. Nuzzo warns that kids confined home for an indefinite period could be experiencing harms “we are not accounting for.”

Others point out that schools in other countries, including Israel and China, which opened their schools have already had to shut them down after a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

Distance learning

A Laptop and notebook on a desk

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Why not move all classes online and continue education through Google Classrooms and platforms like Zoom or Skype?

Not all children have access to the internet. A staggering 9 million kids have been cut off from their peers and teachers for months because they have no internet at home or access to online learning. Kids from lower-income families get more than just education at school. They could be missing out on essential meals, social contact, or an escape from broken or abusive homes.

But many parents think those reasons are not good enough to risk putting all kids back into school buildings for 7 hours per day.

Children don’t get COVID-19?

coronavirus molecule

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How children are affected by the novel coronavirus is a hotly contested topic. While recent studies do suggest that children are less affected by the coronavirus, nonetheless around 24 children have died since the outbreak of the pandemic.

According to this study, kids and young adults risk contracting COVID-19 half as much as adults. Nonetheless, SARS-coV-2 is still less than six months old, and we don’t know the long-term implications of the virus.

What about teachers, janitors, and families?

Photo of an empty classroom

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Opening schools too soon not only exposes children to the risk of getting COVID-19 but also endangers the staff and the families waiting at home every day. This includes vulnerable groups: older teachers, grandparents at home, family members with preexisting conditions.

Can schools reopen safely?

A student writing on a sheet of paper

Unsplash / Ben Mullins

Around the world, schools have been slowly reopening. Most require students to wear masks, some with full visors as well. Social distancing measures include one way systems around the school, every other desk or lunch table remaining empty,

One school in Indonesia has students and teachers pass through a full-body disinfectant chamber before entering the school. Many schools monitor the temperatures of their students before they can enter.

Risk is inevitable, but many of those countries that are opening have seen a significant decrease in the number of coronavirus cases. The United States? …Not so much.

#NotMyChild trending shows that parents want the right to decide what is safest for their family.

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