White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended President Joe Biden’s goal of getting schools open for in-person learning for at least one day a week during the coronavirus pandemic.
“That is our own effort to make our own markings, set a bold and ambitious agenda for how we’re going to measure ourselves and progress,” Psaki said at the White House press briefing on Wednesday afternoon.
Psaki surprised reporters Tuesday when she revealed that Biden’s promise to get the majority of schools open in the first 100 days of his administration was for “at least one day a week” for in-person learning.
Republicans have repeatedly challenged the Biden administration for siding with teacher unions over parents on the goal of reopening schools and ignoring the science.
On Wednesday, Psaki defended her curious clarification by pointing out that it was the first time that reporters had asked for specifics of Biden’s 100-day promise.
“The president set a goal of reopening the majority of schools within 100 days and when you asked what that met, I answered the question,” she said.
Psaki claimed that the majority of schools were not open for in-person learning at least one day a week.
“That’s again, the bar of where we’d like the majority of schools across the country to be, which they’re not at this point in time,” she said.
Sen. Marco Rubio criticized the Biden administration on Wednesday, noting that over 50 percent of school districts were already offering a fully in-person or hybrid option for all of the school year.
“Having 50 percent of schools offering in-person instruction one day a week is not what millions of parents and students across the nation think of as schools reopening,” he said.