US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has accused the Trump administration of messing with the health of children by their risky push to fully reopen schools amid global coronavirus pandemic.
“Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' aggressive push to fully reopen schools this fall is "malfeasance and dereliction of duty," said the house speaker on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, reports AXIOS.
"We all want our children to go back to school. Teachers do, parents do and children do. But they must go back safely," she said.
"And when we hear what the administration is saying, we know they have no appreciation for the failure that has brought us to this point. Going back to school presents the biggest risk for the spread of the coronavirus. They ignore science and they ignore governance in order to make this happen," said Pelosi.
"If there are CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines, they should be requirements. But most importantly, and I hope the Republicans will join us, we have to call upon the president to implement the Defense Protection Act so that we can have the PPE, the personal protective equipment, as well as the testing equipment and equipment to evaluate the tests."
Trump has demanded that schools reopen as part of his efforts to juice the economy by allowing parents to return to work, despite caution from health officials that little is known about how the virus impacts children.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told "Fox News Sunday" that public schools that don't reopen in the fall should not get federal funds, and that the money should be redirected to families who can use it to find another option for their children.
The Trump administration is engaged in a full-court press to reopen schools this fall, despite warnings from some public health officials that the coronavirus outbreak is out of control in many states and that it will be difficult for many schools to reopen safely.
The hard-hit US has registered 3,302,665 confirmed coronavirus cases.
Besides, so far 135,176 fatalities have been recorded in the country till Monday morning, according to data of John Hopkins University.