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Nancy Pelosi tries to out-troll the troll master Trump with a new nickname she hopes will stick

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying her hand at a demonization strategy effectively employed by President Donald Trump on a number of occasions: Branding him with a negative nickname she hopes will stick.

“This president, I have a new name for him, ‘Mr. Make Matters Worse,’” the California Democrat said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

“He has made matters worse from the start- delay, denial, it’s a hoax, it’ll go away magically, it’s a miracle, and all the rest – and we’re in this situation,” Pelosi said in reference to the president’s response to the coronavirus — which began with a travel ban on China in late January as it became apparent the pandemic originated there.

“Now they want to send our children to school,” Pelosi added.

Trump, as well as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have been pushing for districts to hold in-person classes as school years prepare to begin in about a month in some parts of the country.

The president has noted that schools have reopened in European countries as well as Australia and are holding in-person classes despite the ongoing presence of coronavirus, and without negative results either for children or teachers.

“The best way to send our children to school is to fund it,” Pelosi claimed, saying that schools would need improved ventilation and other measures including social distancing in classrooms. “That takes money, that’s in the HEROES Act.”

The Speaker also said that the chamber she controls could remain in session longer — cutting short the normal summer recess — in order to reach a deal with the GOP-controlled Senate and the White House on a new coronavirus relief package.

“We can’t go home without” a deal, she noted, “but it’s so sad that people should have this uncertainty in their life.”

As for U.S. schools, reports noted in May shortly after schools in more than 20 European countries reopened that coronavirus cases had not spiked.

“There are always worries and questions, but even so we should not push school to one side in this current difficult period, because there will be terrible damage if we lose a generation of children who have been stopped from going to school for several months,” Jean-Michel Blanquer, France’s education minister, said at the time.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that European and Asian schools have largely avoided coronavirus resurgences among students and teachers, providing “lessons” for the U.S.

“From Belgium to Japan, schools are abandoning certain social distancing measures, such as alternate-day schedules or extra space between desks. They have decided that part-time or voluntary school attendance, supplemented by distance learning, is not enough — that full classrooms are preferable to leaving kids at home,” the paper reported.

A number of health experts and physician groups are also urging U.S. schools to reopen.

“Educators and pediatricians share the goal of children returning safely to school this fall. Our organizations are committed to doing everything we can so that all students have the opportunity to safely resume in-person learning,” several groups said in a joint statement.

They include the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association (NEA) and AASA, and the School Superintendents Association.

“We recognize that children learn best when physically present in the classroom. But children get much more than academics at school. They also learn social and emotional skills at school, get healthy meals and exercise, mental health support and other services that cannot be easily replicated online,” the statement continued.

“Returning to school is important for the healthy development and well-being of children, but we must pursue re-opening in a way that is safe for all students, teachers and staff. Science should drive decision-making on safely reopening schools,” the groups added.

Jon Dougherty

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