Joe Biden Calls the Uncertainty Around School Reopenings a ‘National Emergency’; Parents Agree

During the Presidential Debate on September 29th, President Donald Trump mocked former Vice President Joe Biden for wearing a mask on the campaign trail to protect himself from COVID-19.

“I wear a mask when needed,” Trump said. “I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.” Two days later, Trump tested positive for COVID-19.

This is just a snapshot of the bigger picture when it comes to the way that President Donald Trump has handled the COVID-19 crisis. He has ignored scientists and shunned common sense. He has admittedly down-played the dangers of the virus that has killed more than 200,000 Americans.

And Trump has applied this slap-dash style of leadership to school reopenings, which has, in turn, made parents uncertain of how to protect their children

Like Ashley Segura, a mom of two living in Pearland, Texas, right outside of Houston. Before the pandemic hit in March, Segura was sending her daughter to half-days of Pre-K school. But everything changed when COVID-19 shuttered schools across the country.

At first, Segura’s daughter did distance learning over the internet, which Segura described as “chaotic.” But when the start of a new school year loomed close at the end of the summer, Segura was forced to make the tough decision of whether or not to send her daughter (now 5-years-old) back to school in-person. She opted instead for homeschooling.

“I didn’t feel confident sending my daughter into a school where the school district didn’t even really know what they’re doing,” Segura, who identifies as Mexican-American, told Mitu. “I think it has to do with the fact that they’re not getting a lot of directions from the governor [Gregory Abbott], or from the President.”

Segura is one of millions of Americans who feel let down by how the government has handled school reopenings and the overall public health crisis.

“I really think that this administration has genuinely failed the American people,” she said. “I think if they would have acknowledged the fact that this virus even existed back in February and they were forthright with the information they had, I think a lot of lives would’ve been spared.”

Unlike President Trump, Joe Biden has offered a concrete plan on how to approach school reopenings–a situation that is delicate, complicated, and urgent.

“I think going back to school, for millions of children and their impact on families in the community, is a national emergency,” Biden said in a speech earlier this month. “Protecting our students, or educators, communities, getting our schools open safely and effectively, this is a national emergency. But President Trump still does not have any real plans for how to open our school safely.”

Joe Biden outlined a plan to reopen the schools, which includes getting disaster relief funds from FEMA in order to provide PPE and sanitation supplies to schools.

He also says he would work with Congress to pass emergency packages so schools will have the resources they need to open safely.

Joe Biden also believes in listening to scientists. It’s worth noting that a recent poll showed that fewer than 20% of Americans would get a COVID-19 vaccine if President Donald Trump told them it was safe. In other words: Americans know they can’t count on Trump to give them all the facts.

As for regular Americans like Ashley Segura, she can’t help but think what could have been.

“There’s no reason why 200,000 people should be dead right now,” she said. “There’s no reason why parents in America should be afraid to send their kids to school. There’s just so much that this administration could have done, like listen to scientists, listen to actual facts, not confuse people on what’s real and what’s not. And not politicize [COVID-19].”

As always, the only way we can change what we don’t like is to vote. This year, there are several convenient and easy ways to vote and voting early is a great way to show your support for Joe, Kamala, and more importantly, for our communities. Go to IWillVote.com or VoyaVotar.com and text TODOS to 30330 today to learn what choices you have to vote in your community and to get information on where and when to vote. We’re all in this together.

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