Political News

Jill Biden says Trump 'didn't have a strategy' for school openings

Posted September 1, 2020 5:01 p.m. EDT

— Jill Biden, the wife of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, says President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos "didn't have a strategy" to reopen schools this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are in Donald Trump's America and there's just so much chaos. And I feel that, you know, educators don't know what to do. Students don't know what to do," she told CNN's Bianna Golodryga in an interview Tuesday.

Her comments came two weeks after Biden, a longtime educator, delivered her Democratic National Convention speech in the Delaware high school classroom where she used to teach.

Biden said her husband would replace DeVos, who she said she doesn't believe "ever felt invested in America's public schools," with an education secretary who has been a teacher and "will listen to the educators."

She also said she's heard frequently from educators who tell her that schools need more mental health support for students during the pandemic.

"Children are at home. Domestic violence has increased. Child abuse has increased. Children are dealing with anxiety. And then now when children come back into the schools, you know, they're bringing all of that with them," she said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has offered shifting school guidance throughout the summer as the President repeatedly called for schools to reopen on schedule and in-person.

Joe Biden's campaign has deployed Jill Biden, who is currently a community college professor and has said she would continue teaching if her husband is elected president in November, as a focal point of its outreach to teachers.

On Tuesday, she began what Biden's campaign is calling a "back to school" tour -- which includes virtual and in-person events in a series of swing states, including Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida, Nevada, Minnesota, Arizona and Pennsylvania. It's not yet clear which stops will be virtual and which ones she will make in person.

Joe and Jill Biden are set to receive a briefing from education leaders on Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware, which Joe Biden will follow with a speech focused on school reopenings.

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