Democratic New Jersey Rep. Mikie Sherrill said Tuesday there are “no further arguments” to keep children from going back to in-person learning in school.
While appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Sherrill discussed with host Joe Scarborough the damage that remote learning has caused children, as well as the measures that have been taken to ensure schools can reopen safely. (RELATED: ‘Open The Damn Schools’: Joe Scarborough Says Some Trump Critics Are Now The Ones ‘Not Following Science’)
Scarborough first noted he and his co-hosts have been”very critical of Republicans who didn’t follow science” and of former President Donald Trump, adding that recently they’ve been “very concerned about Democrats who are not following science.” He then asked what could be keeping children from returning to school if Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the head of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Dr. Anthony Fauci say they need to be back in school.
“Hopefully, like I said, not much at this point. There’s really no further arguments for not getting children back in school,” Sherrill responded. “We see governors moving to get our teachers vaccinated. I know here in my county we’re working very hard, opening up sites for our teachers, getting them vaccinated.”
She went on to say the money put forward in the COVID-19 stimulus package, American Rescue Plan, is there to make sure schools have the resources they need to sanitize and create more classroom space so social distancing is possible.
“But, really, when we’re seeing all the reporting saying how damaging this is to our kids, the mental health crisis, the social and emotional crisis, how damaging it is, as well as how we haven’t seen the types of outbreaks in schools that we were worried about at the beginning of all of this, it’s critically important,” Sherrill said.
The CDC released updated guidance on Feb. 12 saying schools can safely reopen. They recommended in-person instruction resumes as long as certain precautions are met and there is not a high rate of community spread. The guidance also said teachers do not need to receive the coronavirus vaccine in order to reopen safely, but some teachers unions across the country have resisted returning to in-person learning.
President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan into law last Thursday. It had received heavy criticism from Republicans over its high cost, and the amount of money going to non-Covid related spending. No Republican in the House or Senate voted for it.