U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos continues to duck responsibility for keeping students and school employees safe from coronavirus, telling an audience gathered Tuesday for a right-wing conference that it’s not her job to track school districts’ COVID-19 cases or reopening plans.
DeVos, known by experts as “the worst” education secretary in U.S. history, told attendees of the Milken Institute event that she’s “not sure there’s a role for the Department of Education to compile and conduct that research.”
DeVos’ comments come as Michigan and other states are experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. There are new or ongoing breakouts in 84 schools across the state, according to Bridge Magazine, with 435 students and staff testing positive.
Despite the new outbreaks, President Donald Trump and other Republican leaders, including state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, have called for schools to reopen immediately — regardless of the risk posed to children and school employees from the virus, which has killed about 7,500 Michiganders.
“Donald Trump’s disregard for science has already cost 200,000 American lives during this pandemic,” NEA President Becky Pringle wrote in a recent letter. “Secretaries Alex Azar and Betsy DeVos are accomplices in this malicious incompetence.”
“It is appalling that they have risked the lives of students and educators in running roughshod over the CDC’s apolitical process for providing vital health guidance to the American people,” Pringle said. “How many students and educators will we lose to COVID-19 before this administration prioritizes science over partisan politics?”
To learn more about how DeVos and her allies are putting Michigan children and families at risk, visit www.mea.org/firedevos.