• President Trump wore a mask in public for the first time
• Education secretary suggests reopening of schools in America
President Trump on Saturday finally did the one thing that public health experts and even his own aides have begged him to do to save lives. He wore a mask in public during a visit to wounded service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Trump has finally agreed to use mask
Given his intransigence for so many months, it was a small but significant gesture at a time when coronavirus cases are surging in the US and the President has failed to grasp the depth of the crisis or offer any coherent strategy to control the spread of the virus.
While he was willing to wear the mask to protect US service members, Trump made it clear this week that he viewed the hospital setting as a unique one — clinging to his insistence that there is a “time and place” for masks amid a raging pandemic that has claimed the lives of at least 134,815 Americans. His concern about safety does not apparently extend to schools, which he is pressuring to reopen, potentially putting millions of Americans at risk. His delusional view of the virus — mainly that it is “harmless” — serves his political agenda of getting the economy moving and the country back to “normal” ahead of the fall election. But if he is going to win back any of the suburban moms the Republican Party lost so badly in the 2018 midterms, he may want to reconsider using America’s children as chips in his political games.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Sunday repeatedly dodged questions about what her agency’s plan is for keeping children safe as they return to school this fall and refused to say whether schools should follow the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, which Trump has called “very tough and expensive.” DeVos said the CDC guidance were meant to be “flexible” and “meant to be applied as appropriate,” and invited school districts to work with her department to figure out their plan.
Devos’ give reasons why American’s children needs to be in school
“Kids need to be in school. They need to be learning, they need to be moving ahead. And we cannot be paralyzed,” DeVos told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union,” insisting that in-person instruction should be the “go-to.”
“Where there are little flare-ups or hotspots, that can be dealt with on a school-by-school or a case-by-case basis,” she said.
DeVos’ comments reflected the dismissive approach of Trump and some of his top aides to the risks of the virus. The President has continued to jeopardize American lives — including that of his own supporters — on the campaign trail. He had planned to continue flouting the guidelines of his public health experts by holding a campaign rally for his supporters in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Saturday night — which was postponed due to weather — where the campaign said it would encourage but not mandate attendees to wear masks, and there likely would have been little adherence to guidance regarding large gatherings (other than the move outdoors, which can help reduce the rate of spread).