Education Secretary Betsy DeVos doubled down on her pro-death agenda of insisting kids go back to school without any plan for keeping them or anyone else safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
You may recall that last week, “Christian” DeVos made it clear on Fox News’ Your World show that she cared more about supporting Donald Trump’s demand that schools reopen than she did for the safety of students. “There’s nothing in the data that suggests it would not be appropriate to have kids in school,” DeVos insisted, even as the coronavirus pandemic surges in the U.S.
Yesterday, DeVos, yet another Trump appointee who is spectacularly unqualified for her position, reiterated her ghoulish enthusiasm for exposing children, teachers and other school employees, without offering a single thought on safety procedures, on Fox News Sunday.
DeVos could not articulate how schools should 'fully reopen' safely amid COVID-19
CHRIS WALLACE (HOST): Secretary, you say that there should be exceptions in hot spots around the country but that the rule, the general rule should be that schools should be fully operational and fully open in the fall.
What does that mean when you talk about fully open, does that mean in person, five days a week?
DEVOS: Well, Chris, we know that for kids, getting back to school and getting back to learning, getting back with their peers, with their teachers, is really imperative. And fully operational and fully functioning means that kids can be back there and if for families that need their kids in school in person five days a week, that has to be an option.
But for -- and so the point needs to be, how do kids get back to learning in the fall full-time and how do we ensure that they get a full-year-plus of learning? They've fallen behind this spring, we need to ensure they're back in a classroom situation wherever possible and whenever possible and fully functioning, fully learning.
DeVos was more interested in perpetuating a deceitful fantasy that there’s no danger in reopening schools than in keeping anyone safe there
DEVOS: Well, Chris, there's nothing in the data that suggests that kids being in school is in any way dangerous. We know that children contract and have the virus at far lower incidence than any other part of the population and we know that other countries around the world have reopened their schools and have done so successfully and safely, and kids there are going back to school every day. And so, that has got to be the posture here.
Parents are expecting that this fall, their kids are going to have a full- time experience with their learning and we need to follow through on that promise.
Contracting the virus "at far lower incidence" is hardly "no danger."
DeVos more interested in following Trump's wishes than in following CDC recommendations
WALLACE: [T]his week, the president called out the CDC guidance that has been issued about reopening schools. … He called the guidance by the CDC on reopening schools, quote, very tough and expensive and very impractical.
So, let's go through specifically what the CDC is calling for. They say wash your hands regularly, stay six feet apart and wear a mask.
Is that tough, expensive, and impractical, Secretary?
DEVOS: Well, these seem to be measures that we're taking pretty much everywhere else in life, and they're common sense approaches. And as Dr. Redfield has noted, the guidelines are also that, guidelines. They're meant to be helpful in a posture of how you actually do things and how you actually move ahead and ensure that kids can get back into school. …
WALLACE: But, Secretary, I want to get -- I want to get to this issue of - - because the president of the United States said that the CDC guidelines were tough, expensive and impractical. I want to look at some of the other CDC guidance. They talked about putting up shielding in places where six foot -- six feet of distance is not possible, plastic shielding. They talked about staggered drop-offs and pickups.
Is that tough, expensive, and impractical?
DEVOS: Well, again, all of the guidelines are meant to be helpful, to help local education leaders decide and work on how they are going to accomplish what they need to do, and that is getting kids back in school based on their situation and their realities. We know that schools across the country look very different and that there's not going to be a one-size- fits-all approach to everything. But the key is, there has to be a posture of doing something, of action, of getting things going, putting a plan together for your specific school, for your specific district or for your classroom that ensures that kids are going to start learning again this fall.
Wallace challenged her again about balancing safety with learning. Again, DeVos proved she only cared about being a Trump parrot:
WALLACE: Well, I think we all agree that kids need to learn and that to the degree possible we want to get ‘em back to school, the question is, how do you balance safety and learning? You have cited the American Academy of Pediatrics and a report that they issued which said indeed that school -- that students do need to get back to school and that there are real costs to the students in terms of not getting back to the school.
But that association issued a new report on Friday, along with the teachers unions. And I want to put up what they said there.
They said: Science should drive decision-making on safely reopening schools. Public health agencies must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics.
They say leave it to the health experts to say when schools should reopen in various localities.
DEVOS: Well, I'm glad you cited the American Academy of Pediatrics because they also have noted that this whole question of school and going back to school in the fall is one of health for students. And there are multiple measures for student health.
We know and as Secretary Azar said, this is a question of health versus health, not health versus something else. We know that kids are suffering mentally with many mental issues. We know that kids are suffering with emotional learning issues. We know that kids from vulnerable populations and homes have been suffering by not being in school and by not continuing their learning.
All of those are measures that have to be weighed along with the risk of a virus and we know again from the data that kids don't get this virus the same way adults do. And so, again, the posture needs to be around going back to school --
DeVos didn’t show much interest in to what degree children spread the coronavirus or not
WALLACE: Do we know about how they spread the virus? Because I've been told the science there isn't -- isn't so clear, Secretary. How they spread the virus conceivably to their parents, to their grandparents, to teachers in the school, to custodians in the school, do we know that?
DEVOS: Well, that is something that is obviously continuing to be looked at and studied, and there's -- again, a lot of data that suggests that kids are not spreaders. But the point is that kids have got to get back to school and we can do that safely. And every community, every school, can look at what their actual physical circumstances are and figure out ways to do this safely.
We're doing it in many other areas of life. If we can get back in other areas of life, we certainly need to get back to school. …
Our nation can't afford to have kids not learning and preparing for the future.
DeVos thinks COVID-19 "hot spots" should be "dealt with differently" but is extremely sketchy on how
Wallace challenged her again. This time, he noted that in the wake of reopening there has been “a spike in cases that is almost double what we had in the height of the spring.” He also noted that in other countries where schools are reopening, they have a small fraction of the cases the U.S. has.
This time, DeVos conceded that maybe there should be a few exceptions to her un-thought out plan.
DEVOS: [W]e’re not talking about places where it's, quote, out of control. We're talking about the rule, not the exception.
And where there are hot spots in the future, in the fall, of course, that has to be dealt with differently.
But she didn’t have any ideas about how to deal with those hot spots differently, either.
DEVOS: I would reference Miami-Dade County which has a very robust continuity of learning plan that was put into place in anticipation of hurricanes, but it's very appropriate here.
The state of Florida has said in the fall, parents and students need to be able to count on a five-day-a-week, in-person school situation. And where those parents or where that situation suggests something else for a short period of time, there has to be plans to have learning continue 100 percent of the time, full-time in a different setting.
You can watch “Christian” DeVos demand that children, school workers and their families risk their health below, from the July 12, 2020 Fox News Sunday.