The Morning Jolt


CNN News Writer Denies the Biological Reality of Sex at Birth

(Chris Aluka Berry/Reuters)

On the menu today: A CNN news writer asserts that we can’t know a child’s “gender identity” at birth, San Diego teachers will instruct migrant children in person while kids in local school districts remain at home, and some good news in a new trial of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.

CNN News Article: ‘It’s Not Possible to Know a Person’s Gender Identity at Birth’

In an article reporting on Kristi Noem’s decision to veto the “Fairness in Girls’ Sports” bill, CNN breaking-news reporter Devan Cole claimed yesterday that there’s no way to determine a child’s “gender identity” at birth.

“It’s not possible to know a person’s gender identity at birth, and there is no consensus criteria for assigning sex at birth,” Cole asserted, in a statement better fit for an unhinged opinion article than a news article by a breaking-news reporter.

In fact, as most of us are willing to acknowledge, for all of human history we’ve all relied upon a very simple way of actually knowing sex at birth. The concept of “assigning” sex at birth, far from being based on any “consensus criteria,” is a progressive invention designed to inculcate new parents into believing that a child’s biological sex and gender are sometimes, or even often, misaligned, and that it would be damaging to them to merely accept the reality of their biology at birth.

Cole has more to offer in this vein, critiquing two orders that Noem signed in an effort to require that biologically male athletes and biologically female athletes compete against others of their own sex:

Though the two executive orders signed by Noem do not explicitly mention transgender athletes, they reference the supposed harms of the participation of “males” in women’s athletics — an echo of the transphobic claim, cited in other similar legislative initiatives, that transgender women are not women. The orders also reference “biological sex,” a disputed term that refers to the sex as listed on students’ original birth certificates.

To Cole, the activist phrase “transphobic” is a matter of simple fact, fit for use by a hard-news writer, but the phrase “biological sex” is apparently disputed.

Of course, contrary to what Cole and his editors at CNN would like us to swallow wholesale, biological sex is a defined, observable, scientific reality — regardless of what anyone might believe about how best to deal with the policy issue of athletes who identify with the opposite sex.

To pretend that we as a society are incapable of knowing whether a child is a male or female at birth is lunacy. More than that, it’s lunacy in service of the left-wing project to redefine sex and gender as being entirely a creation of each individual, totally untethered from any biological or metaphysical reality.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed this morning, Margaret Harper McCarthy hits on exactly what is so problematic about this effort, especially as codified in the Equality Act, which Democrats are attempting to push through Congress:

At stake in the so-called Equality Act, currently before the Senate, is neither women’s sports nor bathrooms, at least not ultimately. At stake is the freedom of rational human beings to use a common vocabulary when speaking about what all can see. . . .

The Equality Act doesn’t concern such invisible mysteries as the Holy Trinity, for example. That is a matter of belief in the strict sense, though it isn’t irrational or private. Rather, the Equality Act concerns things everyone can see and understand. Infants don’t need instruction to know that their mothers are the ones who are nursing them, and their fathers are the ones who are not. Sexual difference is obvious to anyone with eyes to see.

McCarthy is right. The debate over the Equality Act — or over the South Dakota bill Noem vetoed — isn’t ultimately a debate about bathrooms or sports teams. It’s a debate about whether we as a society are on board with the program of pretending that men and women are interchangeable, that the realities of biological sex and human nature can be erased if we pretend hard enough. We know which side CNN is on.

San Diego Teachers Will Teach Migrant Children In-Person While Local Students Stay Home

In the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), teachers are being permitted to volunteer to teach migrant children in person this week, while their own public-school students — who remain at home, stuck in virtual learning — are on spring break.

The migrant children are being detained in the county in an overflow facility as a result of the crisis at the southern border. According to a SDUSD spokeswoman, the teachers gave up vacation time to volunteer, but she didn’t address questions about whether they would be paid to do so, as that decision would be left to the county.

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) is providing the educational program for the unaccompanied migrant children who will be staying at the San Diego Convention Center through July. All children in California, regardless of immigration status, have a constitutional right to education,” an SDCOE spokesperson told Fox News via email.

Meanwhile, reports indicate that there have been 82 positive cases of COVID-19 detected among the 700 migrant children detained in the county, a far higher rate than the overall rate of COVID-19 cases in the county at large — even as COVID remains the ostensible reason that San Diego public-school students continue to learn remotely.

The SDUSD spokeswoman has not responded to questions about the COVID-19 rate at the facility or its consequences for San Diego’s public-school teachers who will be teaching there in person.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the SDUSD’s decision to authorize this in-person instruction, saying at a recent press conference that “the context is pretty important.”

“I believe they’re also on spring break right now,” Psaki said. “I am not sure if it’s volunteer or paid. You’d have to ask a local school district.” She also noted that San Diego public schools are slated to open early next month for students to be “be back in the classroom part time.”

I can only imagine how frustrating this situation must be for parents of public-school kids in San Diego, who have spent a full year now trying to help their children cope with remote learning, only to watch teachers suddenly volunteer to teach non-public-school kids in person, despite high rates of COVID-19 among the children they’re teaching.

Pfizer Vaccine ‘100 Percent’ Effective for Younger Americans

Some more good news on the COVID-19 front: New clinical-trial results for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine show that the shot is 100 percent effective and tolerated well among adolescents ages twelve to 15.

In a U.S. trial of more than 2,000 participants in this age range, “the vaccine elicited strong antibody responses one month after the second dose — exceeding those demonstrated in people ages 16 to 25 in previous trials,” according to Pfizer.

The company will submit the trial data to the FDA in the hopes of getting expanded emergency-use authorization of the vaccine for Americans younger than 16. This is another small win in the long fight.

ADDENDUM: Tomorrow is Opening Day of the Major League Baseball season! Though as Rich Lowry has pointed out, it’s frustrating as a Yankees fan to watch the first game of the season on a Thursday, only to have to wait through Friday with no Yankees game to watch again on the weekend.

While there was plenty of sadness, loss, and heartbreak to go around last spring and summer, one small difficulty was losing out on half of the baseball season — an Opening Day with no baseball was sad indeed. I, for one, am grateful for this latest glimmer of hope and for the season ahead.


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Fire Public Broadcasting

NPR and PBS routinely present woke opinion as fact, and broadcast views that are anathema to at least half the country. Time to yank their taxpayer dollars.