The chief function of a President is to make responsible decisions and to keep Americans safe, especially children and society’s most vulnerable. Bob Woodward, in his new book Rage tells of a president who was publicly playing down the coronavirus threat without acknowledging the severity of the virus, which has now claimed over 190,000 American lives.
The President understood the danger to the American public when he twitted:
Democrats, OPEN THE SCHOOLS (SAFELY), NOW! When schools are closed, let the money follow the child (FAMILY). Why should schools be paid when they are closed? They shouldn’t.
President Trump, and his accomplice, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, know the dangers of the virus to children, teachers, and parents. Yet, instead of keeping children safe, they use Covid-19 to promote their school choice plan. They intentionally ignore the threat to children and teachers.
You were disappointed last spring when your kids couldn’t finish the school year with their friends. You tried your best to step up to the plate and become a full-time teacher yourself in addition to keeping your day job all the while worrying about your family’s health and safety. Now as we approach fall, you’re told you may have to go it alone again.
That’s why President Donald Trump and I are fighting every day for more options for every child. Their money should follow their student. Our schools exist because you pay for them, and you should be empowered to put your money to better use if your school is not meeting your needs.
With their agenda to destroy democratic public education, they pretend that public schools are intentionally being closed to irritate parents, while they know the dangers of the virus. The coronavirus will not skip private and charter schools. It doesn’t care what school a child attends.
Many private schools are not opening, relying on remote learning at this difficult time. Some parents resent paying the high tuition for an online education, but those schools like public schools recognize the dangers of the coronavirus.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, the school President Trump’s son Barron attends will begin the year with distance learning through October 9. The message to parents, Given the ongoing shared risks that COVID-19 poses to our school community and larger society, our reopening plans must be grounded first and foremost in health and safety. We must acknowledge that local infection rates have risen and remained elevated in recent months, that there is not yet sufficient access to rapid COVID testing results, and that experts have therefore advised us that the coronavirus continues to pose significant risks if we resume in-person instruction too quickly.
Controversy surrounded the school due to a Montgomery County Maryland order to keep schools closed, which was blocked by Republican Governor Larry Hogan, which then left the decision up to the school.
The President and Betsy DeVos care more about their reform agenda message and ending democratic public schools than they care whether children and teachers get sick or take the virus home to parents or grandparents.
DeVos tried to steer coronavirus relief funds away from public schools. Then to force their reopening, she gave school districts an ultimatum. Open or else! She and President Trump seemed to give no thought to the problems with reopening schools, unique to each community. They promoted a dangerous plan. It was all-encompassing and included mask-wearing.
We learned that a top aide at the Department of Health and Human Services has been trying to dictate what Dr. Anthony Fauci can say to the media. A senior advisor has warned Fauci to stick close to Trump’s official positions regardless of their distance from scientific facts. The aide objected to Fauci’s endorsement of masks for children in schools, for example, saying—incorrectly—“There is no data, none, zero, across the entire world, that shows children especially young children, spread this virus to other children, or to adults or to their teachers. None. And if it did occur, the risk is essentially zero.” Without evidence, he said that children transmitted the flu, but not coronavirus.
Some governors and mayors have sided with the President and pushed to reopen schools. They’ve treated children and teachers like an experiment and have given parents a false sense of security about the virus.
It has left the country confused and worried, banking on luck to keep children, teachers, and their loved ones safe.
Here are the results.
- Six teachers have died of Covid-19. They came from Iowa, South Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri, Iowa, and Oklahoma.
- Iowa has the third-highest number of Covid-19 cases, but the Republican Governor ordered schools to reopen or risk losing funding.
- According to teacher Annie Tan, school staff are concerned that New York City School schools are not safe.
- At least 97,000 kids were infected with COVID-19 during the last two weeks of July before the start of school.
- The Florida Governor follows the President, and when student Covid-19 cases spiked, the state told counties to hide the data.
- Teachers are trying to do it all, teach simultaneously online and in-person, from home remotely, and they’re burning out.
- There are no good options for schooling, but this is a temporary crisis. Eventually, schools will reopen safely.
- President Trump didn’t take masks seriously; now, even high-risk states don’t think they’re necessary.
- Betsy DeVos says parents should be able to choose schools that stay open, but charter and private school students get sick too.
- College students party and might not take the coronavirus seriously; then, they must self-quarantine.
President Trump knew from the start that the coronavirus was dangerous, yet he and Betsy DeVos continue to push their school agenda. But Covid-19 has nothing to do with the quality of a school. Covid-19 is a disease, and schools must take into consideration its threat to students. The President and DeVos are dangerously irresponsible to ignore that fact.