Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) took a shot at Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Twitter on Sunday after DeVos once again affirmed her belief that kids should return to school in the fall.
Pressley’s tweet came in response to DeVos’s remarks in an interview on CNN’s “State of The Union” on Sunday. In the interview, DeVos stressed her opinion that schools should resume in-person learning this fall, emphasizing the need for children to practice good hygiene, wearing masks, and practicing social distancing to lessen the risk of spreading COVID-19.
“@BetsyDeVosEd, you have no plan. Teachers, kids, and parents are fearing for their lives,” Pressley tweeted on Sunday. “You point to a private sector that has put profits over people and claimed the lives of thousands of essential workers. I wouldn’t trust you to care for a house plant, let alone my child.”
Pressley’s tweet accompanied a video clip of DeVos’s CNN appearance, where DeVos made remarks that stand in direct contrast to CDC guidelines. The CDC recommends that “if children meet in groups, it can put everyone at risk. Children can pass this virus onto others who have an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.”
“The CDC has also been very clear to say they never recommended schools close down in the first place, and they are very much of the posture that kids need to be back in school for a multitude of reasons,” DeVos responded when pressed about the CDC guidelines. “Kids need to be in school. They need to be learning.”
“What we’re saying is that kids need to be back in school and that school leaders across the country need to be making plans to do just that. There’s going to be the exception to the rule, but the rule should be that kids go back to school this fall,” DeVos continued. “Where there are little flare-ups or hot spots, that can be dealt with on a school-by-school or a case-by-case basis.”
DeVos has come under fire for echoing Donald Trump’s threat to cut federal funding to schools if they refuse to reopen in the fall for in-person learning.