In April 2020 I co-authored an editorial in the LA Daily News criticizing LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Safer at Home Policy.” In May I called out the local school board in Orange County for keeping schools closed. In June I traveled to Washington DC and spoke on the steps of the US Supreme Court to argue that the biggest mistake we had made in the government response to the pandemic was closing America’s schools. I repeated that point in everything I wrote and at every event I spoke at for two years, even after LinkedIn deplatformed me in 2021 for refusing to back down. This week, the National Center for Education Statistics published incontrovertible proof I was right.

The 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Nation’s Report Card details the educational catastrophe caused by adults who closed our schools for two years and prevented children from receiving an education. Only 31% of 8th graders are proficient readers, only 27% are proficient in math, and 30% are functionally illiterate. All academic progress dating back to 1990 was erased in only two years. The results are worst among minority students, the ones who were supposed to be “safer at home,” according to Garcetti and other Democrats who cheered the two years of no education for 60 million children. The revelation is so catastrophic it cannot be ignored, even by the legacy media. Coverage of the manmade disaster has appeared in Left wing publications such as the New York Times and Left wing “news” broadcasts on CNN and NBC.

How did California Governor Gavin Newsom respond to the carnage, here in my home state? He issued a press release headlined, “California outperforms most states in minimizing learning loss.” He praised the very policies he enacted that destroyed the lives of the state’s children: “California focused on keeping kids safe during the pandemic while making record investments to mitigate learning loss and transforming our education system.” Everything he wrote was a lie. The truth is that his policies only helped one constituency, and not the underage one that cannot vote. School closures were enacted to benefit the California Teacher’s Union, the largest donor to the Democrat party and Newsom, and the most powerful political force in the state. Newsom paid the state’s teachers to take a two-year vacation while the children languished at home, playing video games and experimenting with fentanyl. Many committed suicide. One of my 15-year-old patients in Santa Monica died at home of a drug overdose in the middle of the closures. “Safer at Home” was a lie. Newsom lied and children died. And as this year’s NAEP report shows, so went the nation.

I’ve written extensively on the psychological and emotional harm done to children by the failure of adults to responsibly tend to their own anxiety, and their cowardly compliance with tyrannical mandates issued by narcissist autocrats like Newsom, who kept his own children in private schools, maskless, throughout the pandemic. This recently released national academic progress report confirms the unprecedented loss of learning among those who relied on adults to represent their interests. We failed them.

Sweden never closed any of its schools for students under age 16. Not one child there died of the Chinese Wuhan virus during the two years our schools were closed. The truth can no longer be ignored. Will those responsible take accountability for the injuries they caused? Will the adults step up and acknowledge that they sacrificed their children to preserve their warped sense of self-virtue? I am not holding my breath.

Mark McDonald, M.D.
Psychiatrist and author of United States of Fear: How America Fell Victim to a Mass Delusional Psychosis and Freedom From Fear: A 12 Step Guide to Personal and National Recovery