House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Sunday wasted no time in criticizing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ push to reopen schools amid surging cases of the coronavirus nationwide.
Earlier Sunday, DeVos repeatedly dodged questions on whether schools should follow CDC guidance as they reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, President Trump said that the White House is “very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools, to get them open, and it’s very important.”
When asked to respond to DeVos’ remarks on CNN that bolstered Trump’s demand for schools to reopen, Pelosi responded that the education secretary’s interview was a “malfeasance dereliction of duty.”
“This is appalling,” Pelosi said. “The President and his administration are messing with the health of our children. We all want our children to go back to school. Teachers do. Parents do. And children do. But they must go back safely.”
Pelosi then took aim at the Trump administration for having “no appreciation for the failure” of their response to the coronavirus crisis.
“Going back to school presents the biggest risk for the spread of the coronavirus,” Pelosi said. “They ignore science and they ignore governance to make this happen.”
Pelosi added that she thinks that CDC guidelines “should be requirements.” On Thursday, CDC Director Robert Redfield denied that the agency’s guidelines regarding schools reopening in the fall would not change despite the President saying that they are “very tough, expensive and impractical.”
Watch Pelosi’s remarks below:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticizes Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' call to reopen schools pic.twitter.com/BvxSmsp8c8
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) July 12, 2020