New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday defended his decision to keep schools open amid surging COVID-19 cases — and warned the teachers’ union push to return to remote learning is "traumatizing" kids.
In an interview on CNN’s "New Day," the new Democrat mayor asserted he wasn’t at war with United Federation of Teachers head Michael Mulgrew.
"We’re not in a battle with the teachers union because we have a difference of opinion on one issue," he said, adding, "We cannot feed into hysteria."
"This is traumatizing our children," he continued. "The way adults are responding to COVID is having a negative impact on our children."
When pressed that safety regulations around COVID are an issue between Adams and Mulgrew that "can’t be dismissed," Adams shot back: "Yes, it can."
Adams repeated that "adults must stop traumatizing children."
He also argued that despite an increase in hospitalization of children amid the omicron strain of the virus, children are "safer in school."
"Strand after strand, we can’t continue to stop our children from developing socially and academically," he insisted. "And the support that they need, so we have to learn how to live with COVID and live with COVID with a safe way; and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m not going to allow the hysteria to prevent the future of my children."
On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported a sharp rise in pediatric COVID cases. At least 325,340 cases were reported during the week of Dec. 23, compared with 198,551 cases during the week of Dec. 16.
"At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is uncommon among children," the group reported, but added there’s "an urgent need to collect more data to assess the severity of illness related to new variants as well as the longer-term impacts of the pandemic on children."
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