Jill Biden tells children and parents her husband Joe is doing ‘everything he can to defeat the pandemic’ and to listen to the scientists in back to school message
- Jill Biden offered a reassuring message to parents and children
- Monday marked first day of school for most kids across the nation
- ‘Parents, I want you to know that your child, your school and your family are at the heart of all that my husband, Joe, is doing to help our country defeat and ultimately recover from this pandemic,’ she wrote in op-ed for ABC News
- She encouraged wearing face masks and vaccinations
Jill Biden offered a reassuring message to parents and children on Monday, which is the first day of school for many kids across the nation.
In an op-ed published by ABC News, the first lady, a school teacher, acknowledged the fears some may have returning to the classroom and said President Joe Biden is doing all he can to defeat the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Parents, I want you to know that your child, your school and your family are at the heart of all that my husband, Joe, is doing to help our country defeat and ultimately recover from this pandemic,’ she wrote.
Many schools have instituted mask mandates based on CDC recommendations but even that has become a political issue with governors of Florida and Texas pushing back against their own school districts and Missouri’s attorney general filed a lawsuit challenging public school mask mandates across that state.
The CDC recommends universal mask wearing for students and teachers in the classroom.
Jill Biden offered a reassuring message to parents and children as Monday marked the first day of school for many kids around the country – above the first lady visits Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Meriden, Connecticut in March
Students in Brownsville, Texas, wear face masks as they return to class
In Texas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order barring local entities from issuing mask mandates and the Texas Supreme Court on Thursday temporarily blocked a mask mandate issued by San Antonio public schools.
Florida’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis also tried to ban public schools from issuing mask mandates but, on Friday, in a major blow, a Florida judge ruled school districts can enforce wearing face masks.
Jill Biden noted that ‘we do know that vaccines and wearing masks provide the best protection available against this virus.’
The Biden administration has pushed to get teachers vaccinated and the president’s American Rescue Plan provided $122 billion for schools to help with COVID testing, preventative measures like extra cleaning and mental health services.
‘This Administration is doing all we can to keep schools open and at the same time safeguard our children,’ Jill Biden wrote.
‘Public health officials have laid out clear guidelines on how schools can bring kids back to the classroom safely and the American Rescue Plan has provided the support schools need to hire additional staff, including nurses,’ she noted.
Her op-ed came the same day her husband’s Education Department announced it was opening civil rights investigations against five states that bar mask mandates for schools: Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah.
Officials in the Republican-led states have barred schools from requiring masks among students and staff.
The Education Department argues that could prevent some students from safely attending school.
‘It’s simply unacceptable that state leaders are putting politics over the health and education of the students they took an oath to serve,’ Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement. ‘The department will fight to protect every student’s right to access in-person learning safely.’
Fifth graders in Los Angeles line up for COVID testing
The United States is facing more than 100,000 new COVID hospitalizations a day.
It is the first time the mark has been reached since winter – when the U.S. suffered its largest surge of the virus to date, and before the vaccine was widely available.
Deaths are on the rise as well, with some states setting new records last week.