When – and how – can schools reopen safely?
Riverglades elementary school in Broward county, Florida
Broward county, Florida, is America’s sixth largest school district…When in-person classes ended here on 13 March, there were 11 cases of Covid-19 in the county, according to Johns Hopkins University’s virus tracker. Now, there are more than 23,000 cases, with a curve bending vertically. Covid-19 cases have doubled in 20 days…
Amid this trend, Donald Trump has heaped pressure on educators. He criticized “tough and expensive” guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which the agency said it would revise after his comments…Trump’s administration has also threatened schools’ funding, at a time when local governments are expected to slash school budgets in response to cratered sales tax revenue. Educators across the country have begged for federal support, but have received none of the $250bn they proposed in a letter to Congress…
“We do not see a path to reopening all district schools with 100% full enrollment every day, as we were before we closed schools due to the coronavirus pandemic,” the Broward county superintendent, Robert Runcie, said in a video message to his district…He also shot down comparisons to other countries, made by Trump, which had reopened their schools and economies.
“These countries have done widespread testing and contact tracing,” he said. “We have not done so, and consequently don’t have the infrastructure and systems in place that are necessary.
“The sad fact is that there is no national plan.”
The incompetent fool sitting in the White House by virtue of an outdated, corrupt and undemocratic election, has a following among the sort of Americans who believed his lies thoroughly enough to vote for him. They are willing to ignore science and reason – and the potential death of thousands of schoolchildren – to support an unfunded, unsafe process to “bring back schools for America” regardless of consequences.
This thoughtless, ignorant army of populist fools are willing to place their faith in the biggest phony in American political history…to achieve nothing more than expanding this pandemic.