Monday on Andrea Mitchell Reports, Rep. Barbara Lee called President Trump’s push to tie federal aid to the reopening of schools a form of “blackmail” that could end up causing more coronavirus deaths.
“I think the executive actions, first of all, are smoke in mirrors. Come on,” Lee scoffed. “There’s no funding in the executive actions, first of all. Secondly, how in the world do you take away from someone’s unemployment compensation $800 a month?…
“Also the president is, in terms of his bullying the school districts, is actually tied to blackmail school districts and forcing them to physically open, even if the health protocols or the virus is such the health officials do not believe they should be opened. So he is deciding to penalize students that won’t do this. So… all the workers at our schools and our students are in jeopardy… He wants the money to be fenced in for those schools who physically are opening, and that’s dangerous, and it’s not healthy, and it could be deadly.”
But it won’t be deadly. The consequences of keeping schools closed will be more serious and long-lasting than opening them with reasonable precautions.