Children's mental health seems to be more important than physical health - DeVos

In an interview with CNN's Dana Bash on Sunday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos repeatedly answered questions with the statements similar to "kids need to be back in school...The rule should be that kids go back to school this fall." DeVos continually avoided questions over whether her department had any guidance or plan for children's health needs. Bash pressed her to guarantee that kids would be safe. DeVos did not indicate whether or not there was any plan in place to ensure children's safety, but stated it would be on "a case by case basis."

“I want my school-aged child to go back to school as much as you are saying you want for everybody,” said Bash.”But the question is can it happen safely? So, by saying what you just said also assure parents, students, children, everybody who’s there that they’re going to be able to do so safely?”

“Well, we know that children get the virus at a far lower rate than any other part of the population. and, again, there is nothing in the data that would suggest that kids being back in school is dangerous to them,” DeVos attempted. “And, in fact, it’s more a matter of their health and well-being that they be back in school. We’ve seen this in other countries in Europe and elsewhere in the world where students have gone back to school and have done so very successfully. That should be the goal.”

"We know that this is a matter of their health in a multitude of factors or multitude of dimensions. We know that their emotional well-being, their mental well-being, and particularly for kids from low income and vulnerable populations, this is devastating to be out of school and not learning for months on end," continued DeVos.

“We do know that children can spread the virus,” Bash fired back. “For example, there was a summer camp in Missouri, which closed after 82 campers and staff tested positive. Texas says more than 1,300 children and employees in a childcare facility tested positive. And here’s what the CDC guidelines say, “If children meet in groups, it can put everyone at risk. children can pass this virus onto others who have an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.’ That’s your own federal government’s guidelines...Should schools in the United States follow the CDC recommendations, or not?"

"Dr. Redfield has clearly said, these are recommendations, and every situation is going to look slightly different." answered DeVos.