On Wednesday, Biden opted to speak against states imposing a ban on mask mandates in schools, stating that they will set forth “legal action” against them. This statement was made amidst the mayhem in Afghanistan and scrambling of U.S. troops attempting to save thousands of Americans trapped in the country.
Biden is directing the Secretary of Education to take steps against governors
Biden’s remarks about schools imposing a ban on mask mandates came on Wednesday as U.S. troops are struggling to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies stuck in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, State Department communications are instructing Americans left in Afghanistan to “consider” going to the international airport in Kabul to be evacuated.
However, the U.S. government cannot assure a safe passage for them through the rest of the city where Taliban checkpoints were set up in multiple posts.
Biden Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on evacuating stranded Americans in Afghanistan:
"We don't have the capability go out and collect up large numbers of people" pic.twitter.com/TwdJuCjm4G
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 18, 2021
In his remarks at the White House, Biden announced that he is directing the Education Secretary (who is an educator himself) to take additional steps in protecting the children of America. He added that the direction also involves utilizing all of the legal actions and oversight authorities he has. If necessary, he will use these powers against governors who are attempting to block mask mandates in classrooms
Biden also added that he has seen this scenario before, noting that if these officials are not going to fight the virus, they should get out of the way for those who are still trying to fight against it.
Biden continued, stating that they are not going to stand by as governors attempt to intimidate and block educators from giving protection to children. However, after the speech, Biden refused to take any questions in relation to Afghanistan. Instead, he took aim at Republican politicians.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis then made a remark stating that with all the chaos and destruction that is going on in Afghanistan, the historic crisis and surge of migrants at the southern border, and inflation of prices in the country, Biden opted to instead focus on attacking Republican politicians.
DeSantis also claimed that Biden is obsessed with making his administration force kindergarteners keep on their masks all day. On the other hand, according to a fact sheet from the White House, Biden stated that his instructions to Cardona allowed the Secretary of Education to use all tools available to make sure that governors, as well as other government officials, are giving safe in-person learning for kids in the country.
The fact sheet also noted that with the right safety precautions, all schools in the country can resume in-person teaching this upcoming fall, for full time.
Biden opted not to answer questions related to Afghanistan, two days since he made his remarks
Audible scoffs from some in the press pool as the President once again delivers remarks, but takes no questions.
Biden has not taken any reporter questions since the Taliban took Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/dKuYf7JRip
— Jacqui Heinrich (@JacquiHeinrich) August 18, 2021
According to the memorandum, Cardona is in favor of requiring masks in schools. They will also consider whether or not they will take further steps towards the introduction of potential reprimands under applicable statutes.
Several opponents of mask mandates in school proposed their concerns that wearing masks might stunt the development of children since they are not seeing faces, facial expressions and watching mouths move as people talk. They are also concerned about the cleanliness of young children wearing masks, as some noted that the virus is not as contagious among little kids.
On the other hand, supporters of mask mandates in school argue that there are no studies yet to prove that wearing masks stunts a child’s development. They also said that children are resilient, adding that wearing masks could help prevent coronavirus-related lockdowns in schools.
Despite the press briefing in the White House, the president did not mention anything related to Afghanistan. This is the second day after Biden’s remarks that he did not take any questions which drew audible scoffs from the media in attendance.