According to The Daily Beast, on a call with US governors on Tuesday, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos “chastised local officials for doing ‘next to nothing’ to provide academic services to students and demanded they reopen schools in the fall regardless of the state of the COVID pandemic.”
- The report stated that DeVos stressed at one point that the issue was “merely a matter of calculated risk, nothing all that different from those taken by an astronaut heading into space.”
“Education leaders really do need to examine real data and weigh risk,” DeVos said. “They already deal with risk on a daily basis. We know that risk is embedded in everything we do. Learning to ride a bike, to the risk of getting in a space capsule and getting shot off in a rocket into space.”
- DeVos’ remarks were “part of a larger push on Tuesday by top Trump officials to make the case for school reopenings amid growing health concerns by doctors, scientists and state and local officials,” The Daily Beast wrote. “Months into the pandemic, the administration has settled into a phase of acceptance even as the coronavirus continues to infect thousands of people each day and overwhelm hospitals in the south and southwestern parts of the country.”
“There are people who are trying to do the right thing and they aren’t always allowed to,” said one individual who works with President Trump’s coronavirus task force. “I feel like they’re trying to thread a needle. That’s hard to do when there’s been no national strategy around masks, gatherings...that other countries have that have allowed them to better prepare for the fall.”
On Tuesday, Trump “made it clear that he harbored no internal debate about the virtue of getting school’s reopened in the midst of a pandemic,” the report continued.
“Now it’s time to be open. Now it’s time to stay open,” Trump declared at a separate event on Tuesday geared around schools. “We’re not closing. We’ll never close.”