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ICYMI: Rubio Joins America’s Newsroom

Mar 10, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined America’s Newsroom to discuss reopening schools and the COVID relief bill. See below for highlights and watch the interview here

On Rubio’s letter to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky following reports that they “misinterpreted” research on school reopenings: 
“We’re going to wait and see [the CDC’s] answer. I’m going to ask them to see how they got to this point. When you have researchers whose data is what they used to reach these conclusions, and then you have the findings come out and it basically protects the status quo and gives cover to districts that do not want to open, you start to wonder whether there’s some political influence. Here is the bottom line… common sense tells you there are powerful teacher unions in parts of this country who are very important to the Democratic Party, key allies of [President] Joe Biden, and they don’t want to open. And, rather than have to line up against them, this is a pseudoscientific cover for them not to have to reopen and I think there’s questions that need to be asked about this. 
“Like anything else when you make decisions about this, it’s cost versus benefit. The cost of not reopening schools, we know, is very very high. We see the mental health crisis among young people and the learning losses that are occuring. Not to mention the social aspects of it. And, the benefits I think are of diminishing return at this point. There is clear science and evidence that includes schools that have been open now for months, including in Florida, that you can reopen schools safely even without vaccines in place — even without rigorous testing for example. And it can be done, it is being done, and there’s no reason why more places can’t do it. But to date I think it’s up to 50 percent of schools across the country are not open full-time for in-class instruction.” 
On the COVID relief bill expected to pass the House today: 
“No, [there was no significant Republican input], and look obviously there are some things that people had different opinions about that found a way in there. But ultimately, we’ve done six COVID relief bills now in the Senate. Five of them under President Trump. All five of them were bipartisan, meaning both sides agreed to it. I worked on all five of them, and the PPP program is an example. So this is the first time that they have to ram something through on a party-line vote with people that are willing to be supportive. You could have had 30, 25, 35 Republicans. There’s a lot of COVID provisions I could have been supportive of. The problem is they stuck all kinds of things in it that have nothing to do with COVID. And even the things that had to do with COVID, like school reopening funds, you’re making school reopening funds available for districts who can decide to take the money and then not reopen. That makes no sense to me. And that’s why I wanted to incentivize reopening.
“Let me just say when you call something ‘the COVID relief bill,’ you see by and large across the media increasingly consolidated in the hands of a handful of corporate entities — they cover narratives. They cover narratives, and the narrative they wanted to cover is this is a really good bill, it’s going to help a lot of people, it’s going to change the planet Earth, it’s going to pull people out of poverty at least for 12 months. And, anybody who’s against it doesn’t care about working Americans, doesn’t care about COVID, and doesn’t care about struggling people. That’s the narrative they wanted to cover. And that’s the narrative they put out there consistently. So yeah, we can come on this network and a couple other places and talk about it. But by and large, the narrative they want to cover is called COVID relief. The bigger it is, the more people it helps. Why aren’t you for it? And, it’s really popular by the way. And anything other than that just didn’t get covered. So we have to continue to work hard to get our message out there.”