Biden June 2019
Credit: Marc Nozell

As schools reopen, the news from colleges and universities is not good.

A return to campus for the new academic year has colleges and universities struggling to both contain outbreaks of Covid-19 and enforce policies meant to prevent its spread.

Across the United States, at least 36 states have reported positive cases at colleges and universities, adding more than 8,700 cases to the country’s tally. Almost 6 million infections have been recorded in the United States, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

That doesn’t bode well for K-12 schools that are opening, even though we’re still still learning about the risks of contraction by age. Joe Biden, however, has a COVID-19 plan for K-12 schools, while the president, who claimed that children are almost immune from COVID-19 (a bald-faced lie), doesn’t.

The first step of Biden’s plan, released over a month ago, includes something the Trump administration has failed to do: get the virus under control via actions such as implementation of nationwide testing-and-tracing. Take a look at how Biden’s message is totally different from Trump’s nonsense.

I don’t believe that “sacrifice” is a word in Trump’s vocabulary.

When it comes to decisions about when and how schools should reopen, Biden’s plan is not a one-size-fits-all.

Biden’s plan is in line with the approach he has taken in recent days, suggesting that school districts are confronting different scenarios and should respond accordingly. It’s a notably different message from the one being sent by the White House, which argues that science and economic well-being dictate that all schools should reopen on time.

To accommodate that kind of flexibility, Biden’s plan calls for the creation of a Safer Schools Best Practices Clearinghouse to “help schools and child care providers across the country and around the world share approaches, protocols, and tools for reopening safely.” In addition, Biden’s plan calls for Congress to appropriate $92 billion in additional funding for schools to do things like “reconfigure classrooms, kitchens, and other spaces, improve ventilation, and take other necessary steps to make it easier to physically distance and minimize risk of spread.”

If  schools can’t reopen safely, they won’t, according to the Biden plan.

“You’ve got to make sure you’re not putting them back in the circumstance where they’re going to become ill with covid and/or bring that covid back home,” he said. “Many of them live in multigenerational homes. So they come home with covid and they may not get seriously ill, but their mom their grandmom, their grandpop — somebody ends up dying. “So we end up with a circumstance where you’ve got to try to figure out what the mix is that you can afford to do,” he said.

On Wednesday, Biden issued a challenge to Trump.

The Democratic leaders are ready to get this done.

Where is the president? Why isn’t he working on this?

We need emergency support funding for our schools — and we need it now.

Mr. President, that is your job. That’s what you should be focused on— getting our kids back to school.

Not whipping up fear and division — not inciting violence in our streets.

Get off Twitter. Invite the leaders of Congress to the Oval Office and do what you boast about –but never seem to actually do — negotiate a deal to help someone other than yourself.

Trump will not accept that challenge, which is why the safety of this country’s children is on the ballot this November.

Nancy LeTourneau

Follow Nancy on Twitter @Smartypants60.