Perez, Rep. Porter, Mayor Bottoms, Hatcher: Trump Is Gambling With Children’s Health and Safety

Today, DNC Chair Tom Perez, Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45), Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Little Lobbyists’ Laura LeBrun Hatcher discussed how Trump is gambling with childrens’ health and safety by ignoring the advice of scientists and experts, downplaying the risk of children spreading coronavirus, and threatening to withhold funding that schools need to safely reopen.

The press call followed the release of the DNC War Room’s latest television ad, “This Is Not a Test,” which calls out Trump for trying to force schools to fully reopen before they’re able to do so safely, despite coronavirus cases surging across the country, because he thinks it will help with his reelection.

“From day one, Trump has made this crisis, far, far worse than it ever had to be. Now, Trump is demanding that schools reopen, and claiming that the virus will not be spread by children in classrooms, or at home. With a history of lies and an ignoring of science and his chronic incompetence about this coronavirus, Americans have absolutely no reason to trust him on this issue, or any issue for that matter, and for good reason,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez. “It’s no wonder the vast majority of Americans oppose Trump’s demand that schools reopen unsafely. Health experts, teachers,  superintendents, pediatricians, and parents have spoken out forcefully against this push that would imperil children, school staff and their families.”

“As a single working mom, I know from personal experience how important schools and childcare options are for working parents to participate fully in our economy. But, as any working parent will tell you, the linchpin in all that is that we have confidence that our kids are being kept safe. Parents cannot work, and cannot help our economy recover if they are fearing for their children,” said Congresswoman Katie Porter. “With cases still skyrocketing in many states, no framework for school districts, no commitment of federal funding, and no coordinated national testing strategy, having kids and teachers safe in school is far from reality. And, here’s the stone cold truth: we could have prevented this.”

“As a mother of four children, I do not trust this president with their lives. And this is where we are, as we contemplate what will happen with our children headed back into school this fall,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “My family is a prime example of what can happen when you send children back into unsafe classrooms. My husband and I and one of our children have been infected with COVID-19. My child was asymptomatic. As we contemplate sending our children back into school, this is what our teachers, our custodians, our bus drivers, and so many others in schools will face: children who are asymptomatic who may unintentionally infect those who don’t have the ability to ward off this virus.”

“We would have hoped that the avoidable loss of one child’s life, regardless of pre-existing health conditions, would be too many for our president, but we were wrong,” said mother, disability rights advocate, and Little Lobbyists Director of Communications Laura LeBrun Hatcher. “And so, right now, families like mine are terrified and furious. We’re terrified because we’re in the middle of a rapidly spreading pandemic, and we’re being told by our nation’s leadership that we simply must learn to live with it, to get back to work, send our children back to school, and hope that everything will be fine. But we know that if we do, the loss of life could be unimaginable. On our current course, we’re forced to wonder how many empty chairs we will have around our table this holiday season.”