Unsurprisingly, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is 100 percent on board with schools reopening fully come fall, even as covid-19 continues to wreak havoc in several states across the country. While children rarely exhibit serious illness if they contract covid-19 and may not show symptoms at all, this is not the case for their teachers or the families they live with, and children can still be carriers of the virus. But, hey, fuck it, says DeVos (basically). On Wednesday during a press conference with the coronavirus task force, DeVos said that distanced learning and limited in-person school days would cheat both America’s children and America’s taxpayers.
“It’s not a matter of if schools should reopen, it’s a matter of how,” DeVos said.
There’s much to critique about distanced learning and how it is insufficient for children, especially low-income children with limited access to the internet and other technology. But DeVos’s insistence that sending children back to school en masse in a matter of weeks would make any reasonable parent hesitate.
During a heated interview with Fox News’s Neil Cavuto later that day, DeVos doubled down on her “OPEN SCHOOL! OPEN SCHOOL!” rhetoric.
“The fact is that kids have to get back to schools and schools have got to reopen,” DeVos said. “We can’t sit around while everything else is opening back up again and have a huge segment of the population—our kids, our future—biding their time and not going back and learning.”
She refused to answer Cavuto’s most important question: Whether she backed President Trump’s threat to cut funding to schools that do not re-open in fall.
But it wouldn’t be surprising if she agrees with Trump on this. I mean, this is the same woman who, during a Tuesday phone call to the nation’s governors, chided local education officials for being unwilling to take enough risks... with the literal health of children and their communities.
According to the Daily Beast, DeVos compared this to space travel (emphasis ours): “Education leaders really do need to examine real data and weigh risk. 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.”
Ah, yes. Sending the kiddos off to potentially contract a fatal disease and bring it home is just a healthy risk, just like a trained astronaut going into space!
Maybe DeVos should use this analogy as inspiration to launch her goofy ass into space. She’s got the money for it. Come on, Betsy, give it a whirl.
Republicans are beefing over whether or not they want to go through with hosting an in-person national convention in Jacksonville, Florida, as the state deals with an alarming spike of covid-19 cases. Covid-19 is dangerous for anyone to contract, especially the old ass men and women who run the Republican Party, which is why some top party officials are opting out of the stunt entirely.
From The Washington Post:
Politicians, donors and party officials, especially seniors at higher risk of complications from the disease, now face a difficult choice between a personal risk to their health and a potential backlash from the president and his supporters. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), 78, indicated Tuesday he will attend the convention, but two other top Senate Republicans, Iowa’s Charles E. Grassley, 86, and Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander, 80, are taking a pass.
They are joined by two of the most senior Republican women in the Senate. Maine’s Susan Collins, 67, said though a spokesman that she avoids attending the party convention in years when she is facing reelection. Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, 63, also has no plans to attend, according to a spokesperson, nor does Utah’s Mitt Romney, 73.
Approximately 15,000 are expected to attend the convention, which was moved to Jacksonville from Charlotte after North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, refused to lift covid-19 health restrictions, making this death trap impossible to proceed as planned. But Florida is perfectly happy with death traps, apparently, and is eager to get the ball rolling, even though the county where the convention will take place has registered 472 positive covid-19 test results in the last nine days alone. Whether those numbers will hold when the convention takes place from August 23 to 27 is anybody’s guess but President Trump doesn’t seem too pressed... yet.
“When we signed [in Florida] a few weeks ago, it looked good,” Trump told Greta Van Susteren in a recent interview. “And now all of a sudden it’s spiking up a little bit and that’s going to go down. It really depends on the timing. . . . We can do a lot of things, but we’re very flexible.”
Covid-19, however, isn’t so flexible. But OK.
- Of course, the good Supreme Court decisions couldn’t last forever: On Wednesday, SCOTUS ruled that job discrimination rules don’t apply to church-run schools and that and that employers with religious or moral objections to birth control are exempted fro an Obamacare mandate requiring them to provide contraception to employees. [Los Angeles Times]
- Looks like we’re in for another PPE shortage as covid-19 cases continue to climb. [New York Times]
- LOL, what?
- President Trump’s fear-mongering about mail-in voting is causing mistrust of absentee voting from Republicans. Incredible. [Washington Post]
- Harvard and MIT are suing the Trump administration over their bullshit, ridiculously restrictive new visa rule for international students. [Politico]
- Remember Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman who testified during Trump’s impeachment hearing? Well, he’s retiring early due to alleged bullying he endured since his testimony. [Washington Post]
- A supervisor in San Francisco has introduced an ordinance that would outlaw racist 911 calls. It’s called the Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies Act, AKA, the CAREN Act. Yes, you read that right. [KTVU]
- King shit featuring Sen. Ed Markey and his ultra Massachusetts accent: