CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford pulled no punches Sunday when it came to how restrictive coronavirus measures had negatively impacted the lives of children around the country.
During an appearance on “Face the Nation,” Crawford blasted the “crushing” policies, blaming them for a number of problems affecting children today, including the ongoing mental health crisis, an increase in suicide rates and learning loss due to school closures.
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“My kids hear me rant about this everyday, so I may as well tell you guys. It’s the crushing impact that our COVID policies have had on young kids and children, by far the least serious risk for serious illness,” Crawford said after host Margaret Brennan asked what she thought was the most underreported news story throughout 2021.
She noted that healthy teenagers have “a one-in-a-million chance” of catching and dying from the coronavirus and added that they have a greater chance of dying in a car accident.
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“They have suffered and sacrificed the most, especially kids in underrepresented, at-risk communities. And now we have the surgeon general saying there’s a mental health crisis among our kids,” Crawford said. “The risk of suicide attempts among girls now up 51% this year. Black kids nearly twice as likely as White kids to die by suicide.”
“I mean school closures, lockdowns, cancellation of sports. You couldn’t even go on a playground in the D.C. area without cops shooing the kids off,” she said. “Tremendous negative impact on kids, and it’s been an afterthought. It’s hurt their dreams, their future, learning loss, risk of abuse, their mental health.”
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Crawford added that, considering knowledge about vaccines, if policies didn’t reflect “a more measured and reasonable approach” for children, then they would be paying for her generation’s decisions for the rest of their lives.
Crawford’s view on restrictions appeared to run in stark contrast to other media figures who have heralded lockdowns as a positive path that should continue amid the rise of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
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Last week, NBC News’ Lester Holt suggested that, in lieu of more restrictive measures being put in place, people implement a lockdown on themselves and change their lifestyles. Others have openly pushed for harsher restrictions, such as CNN medical analyst Leana Wen, who recently called for sharper domestic travel restrictions to be implemented as well as for children to continue being required to wear masks in school.