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On Wednesday, President Trump criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci over his Congressional testimony, questioning Fauci’s assertion that schoolchildren might not be safe returning to classrooms in the fall. Author and clinical psychologist Andrew Solomon says that we’re right to be concerned about the health and wellbeing of children during the pandemic. Solomon, who authored the bell-selling book “Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity,” says that in addition to the potentially fatal consequences of contracting COVID-19 and long-term health effects that we do not yet know, the immediate psychological impact of the pandemic can be devastating. Children are capable not only of detecting but also internalizing and emulating the emotional turmoil of their parental figures, says Solomon. “They can understand the situation is unnatural and bizarre,” he says. “The mental illness of parents bleeds over into the mental illness of children. Even just the stress and distress of parents bleeds over into the condition of children.”

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