Trump threatens to cut funding for schools that don’t reopen

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) rolled out a 9-page checklist for school districts, listing things that, in their judgment, would need to be done before schools could safely be reopened to children. These guidelines, in the words of CNN’s Ana Cabrera, encourage, among other things, “staggered scheduling, a back-up staffing plan, modified seating layouts to allow social distancing, physical barriers and closing of communal spaces.” In a more normal world, the President of the United States, desiring to keep our children safe, and slow the spread of a deadly infectious disease, would read something like this and make it his mission to ensure that every school in America was ready to meet the challenge as laid out by the CDC. That’s not what happened here, though. This morning, Donald Trump attacked the CDC for being “too tough,” and said that he’d withhold funding from any schools that didn’t open up to students at the start of the school year. [As New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pointed out, Trump doesn’t have the authority to do so, but apparently he doesn’t know that.]

Why does Donald Trump, the leader of a country with over 3 million COVID-19 cases and 134,860 already dead, want to push our children back into schools that don’t meet the minimum basic public safety standards? One can only assume it’s because he thinks that it would be good for him, as he heads into this election season. It seems incredibly short sighted to me, given the risk for enormous outbreaks, but, then again, this is also the man that assured us that COVID-19 would just magically disappear, and that hydroxychloroquine would make us all impervious to the disease… Speaking of which, this thread from Dr. Eugene Gu, on why we shouldn’t trust Donald Trump’s judgement on this, was my favorite of the day.

Well, apparently Donald Trump’s bullying worked. According to Vice President Mike Pence, the CDC will be coming out with new guidance for schools next week — guidance which, he inferred, would make it easier for them to open next month. And all of this, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, is playing out as the number of infected in the United States continues to climb. [The newest University of Washington model is projecting 200,000 COVID-19 deaths in United States by November 1.]

When asked what specifically the administration would to do support schools to implement testing and contact tracking protocols, Pence told members of the press, “The plan is to continue to do what we have done from the very beginning“… apparently unaware that what they’d done from the very beginning has given us over 3 million COVID-19 cases and 134,860 dead.

Oh, and Pence, when asked what public health professionals he was conferring with on the reopening our schools, had the following to say. “The best expert I know on this topic is my wife, Karen,” he said.

And yet somehow, in spite all of this, we continue to listen as Trump and his administration officials speak. In spite of the mass graves, and the growing number of cases, we continue to pretend as though this administration is legitimate. It’s completely surreal. One minute this morning, Dr. Deborah Birx was warning against indoor gatherings, given the fact that COVID-19 cases are exploding in places like Texas and Florida, and the very next, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was standing at her side, explaining that we’ll all be sending our kids back into packed classrooms in a month’s time. [“It’s not a matter of if schools reopen,” DeVos said. “It’s simply a matter of how. They must reopen and they must be fully operational.”]

For what it’s worth, Donald Trump seems to think that public health officials in his government are purposely making it difficult for schools to open in order to hurt him. [Everything’s about him.] As he said yesterday on Twitter, “corrupt Joe Biden and the Democrats” are refusing to open schools this fall “for political reasons, not for health reasons.” It’s as though he’s completely incapable of accepting the fact that some people are legitimately concerned about putting an entire generation of Americans into old, poorly ventilated, incredibly overcrowded school buildings during a public health crisis.

And, of course, Trump has no plan to get our schools open safely. He’s not capable of planning, just bullying those who do.

As for our plans here in Michigan, Governor Whitmer just released what she’s calling the MI Safe Schools: Return to School Roadmap, which says, among other things, that schools won’t open for in-person instruction until “the number of new cases and deaths has fallen for a period of time,” and mandates that all teachers and students from 6th to 12th grade, wear masks. Whitmer also issued an executive order recently requiring that all school districts in Michigan submit plans detailing how they they intend to implement her previous mentioned reopening guidelines, and saying that an additional $256 million would be allocated to schools to cover the costs of hand sanitizer, masks, and other related supplies. Is it sufficient? Probably not. But at least we’re having a real dialogue in this state about what’s needed to responsibly open schools, and not just yelling about how “corrupt Joe Biden” wants to keep schools closed to hurt Donald Trump at the polls, which is absolute lunacy.

One last thing…. Here’s my second favorite tweet of the day.

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  1. iRobert
    Posted July 8, 2020 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    It is because of the incompetence of this moronic administration and the denial of simple truths by their moronic supporters, that businesses across the country will not be able to operate at a minimum to stay afloat.

    So now the administration isn’t pretending they can order schools to stay open. That will be entirely up to school boards. How dumb do these people have to be not to comprehend that?

  2. iRobert
    Posted July 8, 2020 at 11:28 pm | Permalink


    So now the administration IS pretending they can order schools to stay open. That will be entirely up to school boards. How dumb do these people have to be not to comprehend that?

    It’s truly astonishing that people can be this stupid….and in the same ways repeatedly. They don’t seem capable of simple learning.

  3. Wobblie
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Aloha, Trump can withhold Federal dollars from states that do not force schools to open. The lack of Federal support will destroy many poorer and working class school systems. Absent Federal money, school lunch programs go broke, absent Federal support bussing and transportation ends, absent Federal money no special ed. The poorest and most vulnerable will be shit on first. The end of public education is on the horizon
    One more death cult objective could be reached before Trump is driven from office, MAGA

  4. John Brown
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    He’s going to go down in history as not only treasonous, but as a war criminal for killing so many Americans in the service of a foreign power. It should be pretty obvious that he’s literally trying to kill us with covid and leave our societal infrastructure in shambles.

    And today the SCOTUS will probably enable him by protecting his financial records from scrutiny.

  5. Lynne
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    If Trump is trying to kill us with COVID, it is especially stupid of him since the disease most severely impacts older voters who are more likely to be one of his voters than other groups.

  6. BrianB
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Republicans know that they are outnumbered and they don’t have any idea of how to fight COVID so they’re basically turning it into their ally to kill as many Americans that they can. Sure some of the weaker Republicans among them will die too, but that’s an acceptable loss to the ones in power who can get tested daily and hide in bunkers while they figure out their next move to subvert our democracy for their own personal gain.

  7. wobblie
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Aloha Lynne, it is the union (and unorganized too, ok) teachers, janitors and cafeteria workers who will be exposed to non-symptomatic transfer of the tRumpvirus by students, who will get it from their peers and take it home to mommy and daddy to spread at McDonnalds, Kroger’s and the meat packing plant. Going for chaos requires lots of folks get out there and get the virus. MAGA

  8. Lynne
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    wobblie. I feel so badly for teachers right now. I know some who are actually thinking about quitting over this or taking early retirement. Add in the substitute teacher shortage and things aren’t looking good. The good news is that closing schools did not seem to have a huge effect so maybe children don’t spread it as much?

    It is such a hard thing. On the one hand, you have disadvantaged kids who really rely on school for a lot of things, including food. You have parents who rely on school for childcare and not all of them have the resources to pay for childcare otherwise which of course affects their ability to go to work. It is a big mess but frankly, one that *could* be handled by giving people money. Give poor families with children extra food stamps and cash. Extend the $600/week federal unemployment so parents can stay home from work to care for children.

    I am hoping Trump will see this kind of financial assistance as a way to buy votes. It is needed enough that I support it even though I know it would work. More people would vote for him if he were to be a leader and get the Senate to approve it. I think the House would without his guidance but even there, he could work with Pelosi on getting something he is willing to sign passed. I am not expecting such leadership from him though.

  9. Wobblie
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Aloha Lynne , average age of elementary teacher in US is 42. People in there 40’s, 50’s and 60’, account for over half of tRumpvirus deaths. Our Leader is convinced that the sheeple will learn to live with a couple thousand dead a day. His rich friends will probably be ok. Modern capitalist economics rewards the disruptive influence. The more chaos the better. MAGA

  10. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I sort of agree with you guys about a few things. We need to protect our elderly and at risk teachers and staff. Part of me wonders if the best thing to do is to send all of the kids away to summer camp with no adults :). The kids will probably be ok either way.

    We can’t just pull the rug out from under elderly or at risk teachers and staff. Keeping the kids at home does not make sense either. Need a compromise position.

  11. EOS
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Covid is going to be with us for a long time. If we get a vaccine, and that’s a big if, it won’t provide immediate immunity. In a given year, the flu vaccine protects less than half the people who receive it. We can’t all stay home and have the government pass out money.

    The kids need to go to school so their parents can work, even if it is possible for their parents to work from home. You can’t work and educate and entertain and supervise your children at the same time. Teachers will be exposed to far less risk than healthcare workers, firemen and paramedics, police officers, package deliverers, and many other essential workers. Everyone who can work needs to work for our nation to survive.

    Where did you all get the idea that we should sit back and enjoy leisure activities while the government provides for all your needs?

  12. EOS
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    BTW –

  13. iRobert
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink


    Maybe you should tell that to your idiot president, his administration and the GOP governors of Florida, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, etc., etc.

  14. iRobert
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    How are those two dumb doctors in Bakersfield doing? Are they still seeing COVID-19 as a hoax now that Southern California is surging in cases, hospital admissions and deaths?

    Remember those two idiots saying there wasn’t a significant difference in death rates between Sweden and Norway? I wonder if those geniuses can see any significant difference now with Sweden at 5,500
    deaths and Norway at 252. How stupid does a person have to be to not understand that was the direction it was going? Can you imagine being a patient of guys this dumb?

  15. Wobblie
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, BTW a flawed study that did not control for thr proven steroid treatment patents were receiving contemporaneously.

  16. Sad
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink


    You all aren’t taking a summer break?

    You’re still here posting all of the Time?

  17. iRobert
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    I took a little break, letting the stupidity here stew a little…returning to stir occasionally.

  18. Wobblie
    Posted July 10, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Aloha , the US Dept of Education says there are 50.8 million K-12 students in the US. The covid death rate for people under 18 is very low, about .5%.
    If only 25% of the kids get infected that is 65,000 dead kids. MAGA

  19. EOS
    Posted July 10, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink


    Of the .5% of kids under 18 who died, nearly all of them had a pre-existing condition that put them at an increased risk. If the susceptible kids used online learning, the other 50 million kids could get in class instruction and their parents could return to work full-time.

  20. wobblie
    Posted July 10, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Aloha, poverty is the primary pre-existing condition. In addition there are 4 to 17 million children under age 18 with some type of pre-existing medical condition. Areas like Ypsilanti have a large population of at risk children, perhaps a majority in the district. They will lose funding under the Leaders proposals unless they attend in person (funding of all kinds are based on student headcounts).
    It would be good if some body in your death cult took leadership as seriously as you seem to EOS.

  21. EOS
    Posted July 10, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Are you pulling these numbers out of a hat or can you provide a source? Where do you get the idea that poverty causes children to die of Covid?

  22. Wobblie
    Posted July 10, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Aloha, then of course there is the epidemic of obesity in US children.

    No I did not make up numbers, that is what Trumpets do.
    Obesity as covid co-mornidity

  23. EOS
    Posted July 10, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Obesity is a co-morbidity for adults who already have the negative consequences of metabolic syndrome, i.e. hypertension, diabetes, vascular diseases, etc. It doesn’t apply to children except in extremely rare circumstances.

  24. Wobblie
    Posted July 10, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Aloha almost forgot to report on Oshkosh. If memory services me right 100 days into the spread of the virus 100 cases 1 dead. The death cult members of Wis Supreme Ct. liberated the bars etc. May 14.
    58 days of freedom 650 new infections. 12 more dead.

  25. Lynne
    Posted July 10, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    I think we still need to be careful about children getting this. We don’t know what future effects it might have. We know that a virus can live dormant in the body for YEARS before causing problems. Ask anyone who has had shingles.

  26. Wobblie
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Aloha seems that some are organizing against the death cult school insanity

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