It seems as though as soon as Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he's authorized the reopening of all school districts in New York State, Democrats on Capitol Hill are suddenly fine with it. Having looked at the infection rate in the state, Cuomo announced on a phone conference with reporters on Friday that it would be safe to resume in-person learning. But he wants individual plans from schools by the end of next week on how they plan to safely reopen.
Suddenly, the likes of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are also urging schools to safely reopen.
Sen. Chuck Schumer: "If we don't open up the schools, you're going to hurt the economy significantly." pic.twitter.com/Ne5znhvk2y— The Hill (@thehill) August 7, 2020
"If we don't open up the schools, you're going to hurt the economy significantly, because lots of people can't go to work," Schumer said at his Friday presser.
He may be late to reach this conclusion, but he's right. As Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin noted a few months ago, children's education isn't the only thing that would be negatively affected if they are forced to continue distance learning. Parents will struggle economically if they're not able to find temporary guardians for their kids as they try to return to work.
But teachers' unions made a show of their disapproval. Some placed body bags in front of schools, while others wrote mock wills, predicting their demise if they were forced to return to the classroom with the threat of the coronavirus. And until now, I don't recall Democrats trying to calm their fears and siding with President Trump that we need to put kids back in class. Or, "SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL," as POTUS tweeted.
Viewers suggested that this about-face from leading Democrats has something to do with the upcoming election.
You've gotta be kidding me. So now that Governor Cuomo wants to reopen schools in New York, Schumer does a 180 and takes the same position Trump's had for weeks?— AdamInHTownTX (@AdamInHTownTX) August 7, 2020
The sudden U-turn from Cuomo and Schumer on school openings suggests the months-long Democrat position of banning children from going to school was a political disaster for them. https://t.co/GOPDyrcua3— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) August 7, 2020
Internal polling most be showing closing schools is a losing issue among voters. 1st Fauc makes his comments early in the week that "the default position should be to open schools. Now this from Schumer. Huge shift in the narrative and policy ideas regarding schools. https://t.co/KUQbvA9Ona— Justin Macella (@Coach_Macella) August 7, 2020
When you're driving the narrative-mobile at 70mph and you suddenly hit reverse. https://t.co/avtuTSAIo1— jon gabriel (@exjon) August 7, 2020
Surprised but happy to see this moment of clarity from Sen. Chuck Schumer! https://t.co/OWdYlbrFvh— Dr. David Samadi, MD (@drdavidsamadi) August 7, 2020
The minority leader also touched on the state of negotiations on the next coronavirus relief package. In sum, it's not going well.
"They don't want to spend the necessary dollars to get America out of this mess," Schumer asserted.
Yet, Republicans say it's the Democrats who are holding up a compromise because they want to extend the $600 a week unemployment benefits until January. The GOP called that a "disincentive" for Americans to return to work.