Reported by Matthew Miller, The Post Millennial |
CBS’s Norah O’Donnell interviewed President Joe Biden Sunday, pressing him on whether it was time to reopen schools, given the cost children and families nationwide have had to endure without in-person education.
“About 20 million American children have not been in the classroom for nearly a year. There’s a mental health crisis happening. Women are dropping out of the workforce,” O’Donnell started.
“Is this a national emergency?” she asked Biden to which the President replied, “It is a national emergency.”
O’Donnell followed up, and asked, “Do you think it’s time for schools to reopen?” Her question striking an issue that is of maximum contention right now in many cities across America, namely Chicago, where teacher’s unions are squared off in tense negotiations with city officials who are pressing to reopen classrooms.
“I think it’s time for schools to reopen safely. Safely,” Biden answered. “You have to have fewer people in the classroom. you have to have ventilation systems that have been reworked. Our CDC commissioner is going to be coming out with science-based judgement, I think as early as Wednesday, to layout what the minimum requirements are,” Biden explained.
Youth mental health reports have shown an alarming phenomenon of rising depression and suicide during the COVID-19 shutdowns. A recent American Psychology Association study found 7 of 10 members of Generation Z, were most likely to report experiencing symptoms of depression, USA Today reports.
As high as 25 percent of people aged 18-24 say that they have “seriously considered” suicide in the month of September, 2020, according to a CDC survey. “It’s so hard with kids not being able to play sports now,” O’Donnell commented.
Biden replied, “It really is. I think about the price so many of my grandkids and your kids are going to pay for not having had the chance to finish whatever it was. That graduation where you didn’t get to walk across the stage.”
“I think they’re going through a lot these kids,” Biden added.