If the United States expects to defeat the coronavirus pandemic, it should not be opening its schools if it is not safe to do so and giving the disease more "arena to spread," but the country is where it is "because of the ignorance in the administration about what needs to be done," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday.
"We cannot say to kids, well, go to school, you might get sick, and take it home," Pelosi told MNSBC's Craig Melvin. "They're the biggest risk; the biggest risk to the spread of the pandemic is opening up the schools in a way that is not safe."
The country can open its economy and schools, she added, but "we have to make a national decision" to do what's needed, including passing the House's "HEROES" Act, said Pelosi.
"I'm very afraid of where we are now because of the ignorance in the administration about what needs to be done, the recognition of the challenge that we face, and the threat to the health and well-being of the American people," said Pelosi, warning that if investments aren't made, "we're going to pay a big price (with a) worse hit on the economy."
She noted that the proposed legislation allows $100 billion in a stabilization fund to address the impact of coronavirus in the schools, among funding other priority needs, including funding more testing.
"It's no use taking a test if you're not going to get your results until a week later," said Pelosi. "All of these things are related to the safety of our children going back….let's give it our best shot putting our children first. We know what we need to do."
Meanwhile, Pelosi said she hasn't been in touch with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about new guidelines Trump is seeking for sending children back to school.
"I would hope they would be responsive to the science," she said. "What I heard was that they were going to respond to a tweet by the president...I'm always happy when there are new guidelines, if they're based on additional information, scientifically based."
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