AFT president on new push for in-person learning
AFT president Randi Weingarten weighs in on debate over reopening schools.
Schools across America don't have the money for enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to shield themselves from the coronavirus, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten told "The Story" Thursday.
"There's this amazing threshold that they've all met in the northeast, which is they starved the virus," Weingarten told host Martha MacCallum. "They tackled the curve … What they've also all said is that that's the first step. I wish that [Florida Gov.] Ron DeSantis and [Georgia Gov. Brian] Kemp and others had done that in the south and the southwest where they can't reopen.
"But the second step in the northeast is to make sure they have the safeguards in schools to ensure that the virus can't be spread," Weingarten said. "And the dilemma right now this week is that when [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell has now left town for a month, these schools don't have the money for PPE or anything."
As the first day of school looms across much of the country, the question of exactly how the coronavirus affects children remains a top concern for parents, school officials, and students.
Parents say they are concerned about students contracting the virus and possibly developing Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a rare condition health experts say is linked to the virus.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states MIS-C causes multiple organs –including the heart, kidneys, lungs, eyes, skin, and brain, among others — to become inflamed after a child has been infected with COVID-19 or has come into contact with a person who had the virus.
"The real issue is — and I'm glad that the president yesterday finally started talking about what we've been talking about since April and the experts, the CDC and others have been talking about since June — which is you need to have masks and social distancing and cleaning and ventilation," Weingarten said. "And it is really late for them to be starting."
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