Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) told Breitbart News Friday that House Democrats, in private discussions with him, have said school shutdowns should end.
Smith said some of his Democrat colleagues oppose closures of schools across various states and cities, ostensibly decreed as public health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“When you talk to my [Democrat] colleagues where they’re not on the record, they will tell you, ‘We have to put our kids back in school. We have to open up. We have to stop this,'” Smith said in an interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow, “but to be public and on the record, they’re afraid of it. Those teachers’ unions are so strong in the Democratic Party that they’re afraid to push back on them.”
Democrat representatives are “very, very scared” of teachers’ unions, Smith added.
On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden’s goal for reopening schools is to have more than 50 percent of schools teaching having one in-person day of instruction per week by the 100th day of his presidency. No rationale behind the 100-day target was provided.
Smith remarked, “I led a letter with almost 70 of my colleagues in Congress to the president saying, ‘just follow the science and encourage all these state and local leaders just to reopen the schools.’ This new goal that [Biden] just issued in the last few days, to say that we want at least 50 percent of our public schools to have one day a week of [in-person] learning, that’s absolutely ridiculous. … You can look at all the private schools. There’s a safe way to put the kids in the classrooms, and there’s some huge ramifications for our kids not to be in in-person learning.”
Smith highlighted a rise in suicides in Clark County, NV, among schoolchildren relative to previous years. Review-Journal reported on an increase in drug overdoses and suicides among children in the county. The New York Times later reported on a “surge of student suicides” in the region.
“The statistics from Clark County, Nevada, are so sad and so disturbing. In the first nine months of the year, last year, you had double the number of children suicides because of depression from not being in schools. This cannot happen anymore. There’s a safe way to have kids [doing] in-person learning. There’s no reason for this. This is not a Republican issue. This is not a Democratic issue. This is an American issue. Open up the schools.”
Smith described the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion spending bill, marketed as a “COVID-19 relief bill” by politicians and media, as a “bailout” for Biden’s affiliates.
Smith stated, “If you look at this proposal that is before us right now, it’s $1.9 trillion dollars of new spending and less than nine percent of it goes towards health care spending, for putting vaccination shots in people’s arms, crushing the virus. I mean, their lips are saying that this is the reason why we have to pass it, ‘Because we want to provide more vaccinations [and] we want to crush the virus.'”
“The majority of the money that’s in this package is to bail out [Biden’s] friends, their political allies, their donors, these big pension clams for people who voted for him,” Smith added, “but they’re doing nothing for the American workers that Biden has fired in Republican states by eliminating the Keystone XL pipeline.”
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