House

Pelosi says Trump administration is 'messing with the health of our children'

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday condemned President Trump and his administration's push for schools to reopen in the fall despite rising coronavirus cases across some parts of the country. 

"This is appalling. ... The president and his administration are messing with the health of our children. We all want our children to go back to school - teachers do, parents do and children do - but they must go back safely," Pelosi said on CNN's "State of the Union." 

Pelosi also called Education Secretary Betsy DeVos's earlier comments on CNN "malfeasance" and a "dereliction of duty." 

DeVos said the "rule" should be for U.S. schools to reopen in the fall, with some exceptions in place for localities with "flare-ups."

"When you hear what the administration is saying, we know that they have no appreciation for the failure that has brought us to this point," Pelosi said later. "Going back to school presents the biggest risk for the spread of the coronavirus. They ignore science, and they ignore governance." 

DeVos also said on Sunday that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines are "meant to be flexible and meant to be applied as appropriate for the situation."

Pelosi, however, said the CDC's guidelines should be "requirements" in order for schools to safely reopen. 

She also renewed a call for Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act in order to have personal protective equipment and testing available to allow schools to safely reopen.

"All of these things are essential to controlling this virus and essential to whether our children go back to school safely," Pelosi said. 

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