White House Whitewashes Dems’ School Closure Debacle By Blaming Trump

[Screenshot/Rumble/White House press briefing]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre blamed former President Donald Trump and Republicans for the debacle caused by school closures at Thursday’s briefing.

A reporter cited a report by the National Center for Educational Progress that concluded 9-year-olds’ reading and writing comprehension skills had a significant decline since the pandemic, the largest since 1900. She asked if the administration takes any accountability for not pushing to reopen schools at an earlier date.

The press secretary said former President Donald Trump’s administration “mismanaged” the pandemic, which she said led to school closures. She then touted that nearly all schools reopened after only 46% had been open six months before.

“That was the work of this president and that was the work of Democrats, in spite of Republicans not voting for the American Rescue Plan which $130 billion went to school, to have the ventilation, to be able to have the tutoring and the teachers and being able to hire more teachers and that was because of the work that this administration did.”

She criticized congressional Republicans who voted against the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan to pour money into reopening schools, businesses and additional relief.

“Our priority remains to make sure states and schools and districts are using these funds, that $130 billion. This is going to go, again, to tutoring, to more teachers, real solutions. Real solutions to make sure that our kids are getting what they need. And, you know, every Republican congress voted against that money. That is the reality. We had to do this on our own,” Jean-Pierre said.

“And so, you know, we’re going to make sure that those funds are directed to the most resources towards students who fell the furthest behind, which is important and we must repair the damage that was done by the last administration, the mismanagement that was done by the last administration, but again, this is something that we took very seriously which is why we passed the American Rescue Plan, which is why we put in $130 billion to deal with what we were seeing in schools.”

The Trump administration, however, advocated to reopen in the Fall of 2020 after schools had shut down in the spring. The former president tweeted, “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” in a July 6 post. He called on Democrats to pass the Republican-backed coronavirus relief bill that intended to fund $105 billion toward reopening schools in the fall, CNBC reported.

The former president warned that school closures would cause “more death” and argued that the risk of fatality among children is low, and therefore school should be open, CNBC reported. He even threatened to slash funds to schools and allocate them to families if they did not reopen. (RELATED: Dem Ad Comes Back To Bite The White House In The A** As They Try To Blame Trump For School Closures) 

Trump clashed with teachers’ unions who largely opposed reopening schools during the height of the pandemic. These unions donated several thousands and up to over $1 million to Democratic fundraisers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found in January 2021, that transmission is lower in school than in the surrounding community.

Karla Hernandez-Mats, the Democratic running mate of Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ opponent, is the president of United Teachers of Dade (UTD). She strongly advocated against reopening schools and criticized both Trump and DeSantis for their efforts.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten strongly condemned the plan to reopen schools. The AFT and National Education Association (NEA) both supported a lawsuit opposing Florida’s plan to reopen in-person learning.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer bowed to pressure by teachers’ unions to keep schools closed. Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki dodged questions on whether the administration would stand up to the teachers’ unions.

“I think it’s unfair how you posed that question, but President Biden wants schools to be open, teachers want schools to be open, families want schools to be open, but we want to do it safely,” she said in February 2021. “But the president is clear. He wants schools to open and stay open. He doesn’t want them open for a month. That’s disruptive for students, for teachers, for families, so he wants the proper steps to be taken so they can reopen and stay open.”