A pandemic is not political. The response to it should not be political. But under the devastating lack of leadership from Trump, Pence, DeVos, and the rest of his ill-prepared cabinet, it is.
As Trump seeks further business re-openings, the country set its fifth new coronavirus cases record in nine days, rising by July 9th to 59,000 cases in one day.
Trump is also adamant about reopening schools next month. Why? Because the country cannot truly reopen until schools are reopen. Most households are dependent on two incomes. Schools are the most efficient, least costly day care systems in the country.
Trump and Pence have scorned CDC guidelines from day one. None of the states that opened early, at their behest, had met the CDC guidelines and now are spiking new cases. This week Trump went so far as to say he did not believe the CDC guidance for reopening schools. He tweeted: “I disagree with @CDCgov on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools. While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical, [sic] I will be meeting with them!!!” He further went on to challenge Dr. Fauci’s credentials. Here is what the nation thinks, as reported by MSNBC on July 8th.
Trust Information on Covid-19
Trump went on to say that he would cut funding to schools if they do not open. But he has no power to do so. Ninety percent of all funding for our public schools come from state and local governments, not the federal government. Trump seems to forget he is not a king. He does not give credence to the CDC but is using the pandemic to further his immigration agenda by suspending H1B visas, restricting asylum seekers at the border, and restricting legal immigration.
ICE has announced that they will deport students if their school does not hold in-person classes.
VP Pence added to the confusion by announcing that the CDC would issue new guidance on opening schools. He said, incredulously,” we don’t want the guidance from the CDC to be the reason that schools don’t open.” He further announced that “the curve is flattening in Arizona.” It is not. Positivity rates in Arizona are 25%.
July 9,2020, CNN: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will not revise its guidelines for reopening schools despite calls from the White House to do so, agency Director Dr. Robert Redfield said.”
Opening schools to make a political statement regardless of the health ramifications to our children and the fact that they can be vectors to spread Covid-19 to parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, and others is ludicrous.
The guidance from the CDC must be followed. States, businesses, and schools should not open until they all meet all their criteria provided by the CDC, and expansive testing is available to all. That too is not happening. Tests are not readily available. Both Quest and LabCorp announced yesterday that, due to the spike in cases, their turnaround time on test results has doubled.
Every parent with school age children wants schools to open, but no parent is willing to gamble with their child’s life.
This week we have had conflicting, irrational, and dangerous statements made about getting schools open. Do not be fooled. This is not about schools. This is about Trump and his league of dunces wanting to kick start the economy to make them look good in November.
What he can do, if he wants schools to reopen, instead of threatening to defund schools, is fund them. Provide funding to help states adhere to the CDC guidelines.
There are bright spots, of course, not coming from the Trump team.
In response to Trump, Richard Corcoran, Florida Education Commissioner ordered all Florida schools to open this fall. But he cannot. This power is not his, locally elected school boards decide whether to open or close schools.
Alberto Carvalho Miami-Dade Superintendent of Public Schools, said in an interview to the Miami Herald, that he did not foresee Miami-Dade schools, “being able to resume schooling in a traditional way.” On CNN on July 7th he said “I will not reopen our school system Aug. 24 if the conditions are what they are today. Our reopening plan contemplates a Phase II reality. We are still in Phase I.”
On July 9th Palm Beach County Florida announced that school will not start as scheduled next month instead students will continue learning from home. The Superintendent of Palm Beach County Schools said that “the health and well-being of our students and staff is the board and I’s [sic] top priority.”
On July 8th, Senator Elizabeth Warren posted on her Face Book page, “No one should look to Donald Trump or Betsy DeVos for public health advice – especially not the CDC. Schools cannot safely open for students and teachers this fall if Senate Republicans keep blocking the money schools and states need.”
On July 1st Speaking about President Trump, Speaker Nancy Pelosi certainly summed it up, “intellectually unprepared, personally unqualified, ethically unfit to serve as POTUS.”
What Can You Do?
- Register to vote if you have not done so.
- Request a mail-in ballot (consider it an insurance policy; you can still choose to vote in person)
- Vote for Joe Biden November 3rd, and remind your friends and family to vote too.
Joe Biden’s Plan For Education
Learn more about Biden’s plan for getting us out of this pandemic: https://joebiden.com/beat-covid19/