“It’s time for us to get our kids back to school.”
This was the message of Vice President Mike Pence during the White House coronavirus task force briefing at the education department in Washington DC today.
“We think it’s absolutely imperative that every state and territory in this country make steps and take steps, rather, to get kids back in the classroom to the fullest extent possible.”
President Donald Trump threatened to cut off funding to schools that do not open in the fall and slammed the CDCs guidelines for reopening schools — calling them ‘very tough and expensive.’
The CDC’s guidelines encourage hygiene, the use of face coverings and staying home when appropriate.
It also recommends staggered in-person classes, modified seating layouts to allow social distancing, physical barriers, and closing shared spaces such as dining halls and playgrounds. It also calls for back-up staffing plan.
Trump took aim at the CDC in a tweet, saying the guidelines are very impractical — vowing to meet with them.
Following Trump’s criticism, the CDC said it would issue new recommendations next week.
For his part – Pence downplayed Trump’s threat to defund schools that fail to reopen by fall.
“We’re gonna be looking for ways to give states a strong incentive and an encouragement to get kids back to school.”
For secretary of education Betsy DeVos, it’s not a matter of whether schools should reopen — it’s simply a matter of how.
Notably absent from Wednesday’s White House coronavirus task force briefing is the country’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been publicly attacked by Trump after Fauci said the U.S. was still ‘knee deep in the first wave’ of the pandemic.
Trump said the U.S. is in ‘a good place’ despite the country topping 3 million cases of COVID-19 — with more than 130,000 deaths.