Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had harsh words for the Biden administration at a press conference this week on the president’s handling of school shutdowns. DeSantis warned that kids would “not go back in this school year” under the administration’s current plans, and “may not even go back in the fall.”
Highlighting a newly released set of CDC guidelines for reopening schools, DeSantis pointed out that Biden’s advisory would effectively do away with in-person learning for an indefinite amount of time, even as cases or coronavirus cases drop around the country. The CDC guidelines state that to have full in-person learning, the rates of community transmission of the disease would need to be “quite low.”
The Washington Post reports that such figures do not exist almost anywhere in the United States.
“Florida schools are open for in person instruction, every single parent in this state has a right to send their kid to in person instruction,” DeSantis said. “We have done it the right way, we are not going to turn back. What the CDC put out five o’clock on a Friday afternoon, I wonder why they would do it then, was quite frankly, a disgrace. It would require if you actually followed that, closing 90% of schools in the United States.”
“We have been open, they will remain open and we are not turning back,” DeSantis added. “We’ve been open the whole time since August. We had kids doing camps and athletics and all that over the summer. And we’ve been in person as much as anybody in the country. And yet, we’re 34 out of 50 states and DC for COVID-19 cases on a per capita basis for children.”
“Thirty-three states have more cases per capita than Florida, for children per capita,” he continued. “And many of those don’t have a lot of in person instruction in school. And so there is no evidence to suggest that kids should do anything else other than be in school. This has been clear for months and months and months, we followed the data when we worked to get the parents the option to send the kids back because we had looked at what happened in Europe, places like Sweden and all these other places.”
“And it does not require another 100 billion dollars,” DeSantis said. “The school reopening plan that makes the most sense, if you want to open schools, open them, open the door, let them come in and let them learn. And the only reason that that is not happening across this country like it is in Florida, like it is in a handful of other states, it’s one reason and one reason only, because the Democratic Party puts the interests of education unions and special interests ahead of the well being of our children and our families.
“These kids have been out of school in parts of this country for almost a year,” the governor stated. “And if you follow that CDC guidance, they will not go back in this school year and they may not even go back in the fall. That is a disgrace. That is not science. That is putting politics ahead of what’s right for kids. That is putting politics and special interests ahead of what the evidence and observed experience says.”