On Monday, teachers and support staff in more than 35 school districts across the United States are protesting the reopening of schools as COVID-19 is on the rise in many parts of the country.They demand that face-to-face classes are not held until scientific evidence supports it, safety protocols such as small class sizes and virus testing are established, and schools are staffed with sufficient numbers of counselors and nurses, according to a website set up for the demonstrations. .
On Twitter, the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association showed protesters making fake gravestones that read “Here is a third-grader from Green Bay who caught COVID at school” and “RIP Grandma surprised COVID by helping small children with homework. ”
Teachers are also demanding financial assistance for parents in need, including rent and mortgage assistance, a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, and cash assistance.
Many of these issues are at the center of a political struggle in Washington, where Congress Democrats and Trump administration officials will resume talks on Monday to craft a coronavirus economic aid bill after missing a deadline to extend benefits to tens of millions of unemployed Americans. .
The coronavirus, which first appeared in China late last year, has infected 4.6 million people in the United States and killed more than 155,000 Americans since February, according to a Reuters tally. Deaths increased by more than 25,000 in July and cases doubled in 19 states during the month.
President Donald Trump has reopened schools for classroom instruction, as they normally would in August and September, as part of his re-election campaign. The Republican president is lagging behind in opinion polls against Democratic candidate Joe Biden ahead of the November 3 election.
“Business is up because of the BIG tests!” Much of our country is doing very well. Open schools! Trump tweeted on Monday.
While the numbers of reported cases may be linked to more testing, recent increases in hospitalizations and deaths are unrelated to a greater number of people being tested for the virus.
The United States is in a new phase of the epidemic with infections in rural areas as well as in cities, Deborah Birx, the coordinator of Trump’s coronavirus task force, said Sunday.
“What we see today is different from March and April. It’s extraordinarily widespread, ”Birx said on CNN’s“ State of the Union ”program.
On Monday, Trump slammed Birx for his comments. Trump accused Birx of surrendering to criticism from Democrats that the federal government’s response to the pandemic has been ineffective.
“So crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr Deborah Birx, suing her because she was too positive about the really good job we’re doing in the fight against the Chinese virus, including vaccines and therapies. In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait and hit us. Pathetic! Trump wrote.
House of Representatives Speaker Pelosi told CNN on Monday that Birx had “allowed” Trump, who downplayed the severity of the virus in its early stages and pushed for a quick reopening of the economy and schools after lockdown weeks.
“I don’t trust anyone standing there while the president says to swallow Lysol and it will cure your virus,” Pelosi said in a reference to Trump during an April coronavirus briefing with Birx in attendance. .
Trump had asked if injecting disinfectant into the body could be a treatment for the virus, leading manufacturers of these products to issue warnings not to do so.