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Republicans Keep 'Forgetting' Which Fool Was President During Pandemic School Shutdowns
No, it's not Joe Biden's fault.
Most Republicans refuse to acknowledge Joe Biden is president, yet they blame him for everything that’s supposedly gone wrong in America, from high gas prices to inflation. You might’ve also noticed that they hold him accountable for events that transpired during their mad MAGA king’s reign. (That's nothing. They used to blame Obama for Hurricane Katrina.)
Case in point: Sen. Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee tweeted Monday: "A new report shows that math and reading scores for 4th — 8th graders during the pandemic dropped to the lowest levels in history. We will not forget what Joe Biden, Anthony Fauci and the teachers’ unions did to our children."
“@MarshaBlackburn You do realize Trump was president at that time. Right?”
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@Sen. Marsha Blackburn) 1666639393
Blackburn’s intellectual capacity is extremely limited — she’d lose a chess match against a squirrel — but surely she comprehends that Biden wasn’t president when schools were closed in 2020. That was Donald Trump.
Trump pushed for schools to reopen in fall of 2020 because he was desperate to win re-election. It’s unlikely he gave much consideration to the impact for students and teachers. However, parents themselves were skeptics about in-person schooling during the height of the pandemic. According to a Morning Consult poll from August 2020, 59 percent of registered voters opposed fully reopening K-12 schools for the beginning of the academic year.
Remote schooling was admittedly a disaster. As NPR reported, "Most schools had little to no experience with remote instruction when the pandemic began; they lacked teacher training, appropriate software, laptops, universal internet access and, in many cases, students lacked stability and a supportive adult at home to help."
However, the choice was never shiny happy normal school and crappy online school. Democrats wanted in-person schooling as much as anyone else. They just refused to send kids and teachers into contagious death traps.
Dr. Anthony Fauci repeatedly said it was critical to reopen schools but safely . This would mean testing and wearing masks. This revisionist history that children were immune to COVID just isn’t true. Also, children don’t teach themselves, unless it’s one of those hippie alternative schools. There were multiple outbreaks among teachers and staff in schools across the country prior to the vaccine rollout.
In September 2020, then-candidate Biden said if “Trump and his administration had done their jobs early on with this crisis, American schools would be open and open safely.” He also raised concerns about learning loss. At no point was Biden opposed to in-person schooling. He just wasn’t in favor of mass deaths.
BIDEN: [Parents are] struggling to figure out how to do the right thing, but they’re worried. They’re worried like the devil. “What does it mean for my kids? Is this setting my child’s education back beyond just a semester? What impact will it have? How’s my child going to catch up? What if I’m not doing enough to help my child succeed?” All those questions, the self-doubt that’s been engaged. President Trump may not think this a national emergency, but I think going back to school for millions of children and the impacts on their families and the community is a national emergency.
Schools safely reopening is one of the clear successes of the Biden administration. The move toward in-person schooling began in early 2021, and schools had fully reopened for the 2021/2022 school year.
Republicans are cynically exploiting hindsight and parental regret two years after the fact. In an interview last week, Boston parent Vivian Kargbo admitted that she agreed with the decision to keep schools closed in 2020. However, her daughter, a former honor roll student, "became depressed and stopped doing school work or paying attention to online classes.” She failed her eighth-grade classes.
“She’s behind,” said Kargbo, whose daughter is now in tenth grade. “It didn’t work at all. Knowing what I know now, I would say they should have put them in school.”
We actually don’t know now that in-person schooling in 2020/2021 would’ve been better for kids. Extended teacher absences with rotating substitutes like "Murphy Brown” secretaries would’ve also had an impact on learning. Students not able to fully interact as normal might’ve also fostered depression. We just don’t know.
What we do know is that Joe Biden, Dr. Fauci, and teachers’ unions aren’t responsible for the negative results. Blackburn and any politician who says otherwise is lying.
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