President Donald Trump and his administration want America’s kids to be able to go back to school this fall. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) just made clear that she’ll be fighting them every step of the way.
“The president and his administration are messing with the health of our children,” Pelosi told CNN in a bombshell interview on Sunday, according to The Hill. The House speaker went on to call efforts to reopen schools “appalling.”
“We all want our children to go back to school — teachers do, parents do, and children do — but they must go back safely,” the House speaker said, as The Hill reported.
Back to school 2020?
Schools across the country were more or less shut down in March and now, it seems Democrats would prefer they stay closed during the fall until a vaccine is present.
But reports have long indicated that a vaccine could take months more to develop, and many have argued that with the proper precautions in place, children can go back to school — a position the Trump administration is clearly taking.
Pressed for a reaction from CNN, Pelosi called remarks earlier in the day from Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos evidence of “malfeasance” and a “dereliction of duty,” The Hill reported.
“Going back to school presents the biggest risk for the spread of the coronavirus,” Pelosi went on. Take a look:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the Trump administration’s push to restart in-person learning in schools is “messing with the health of our children” and that “going back to school presents the biggest risk for the spread of the coronavirus.” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/qsAECfIGGc
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) July 12, 2020
“It’s time to do it”
Pelosi also alleged Sunday that the Trump administration is ignoring “science” and “governance in order to make this happen,” suggesting that guidelines put forth by the CDC, which DeVos alluded to her in her earlier remarks, “should be requirements.”
“Most importantly…we have to call upon the president to implement the Defense Production Act, so we can have the PPE, the personal protective equipment, as well as the testing equipment and the equipment to evaluate a test,” Pelosi added. “All of these things are essential to controlling this virus and essential to whether our children go back to school safely.”
Thus far, the United States has seen at least 3.3 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to a tracker from The New York Times, and more than 135,000 deaths. But as death counts slow across the country, even President Donald Trump himself has suggested that there’s a way to open schools safely.
“We want to reopen the schools. Everybody wants it. The moms want it, the dads want it, the kids want it,” Trump said Tuesday, according to a transcript provided by the White House. “It’s time to do it.”