Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis comparing the coordination needed to bring kids and teachers safely back into classrooms during the coronavirus pandemic with the May 2011 Navy SEALs strike in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Comparing a Navy SEALs strike to running classrooms during a pandemic has raised a lot of eyebrows
“Just as the SEALs surmounted obstacles to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, so too would the Martin County School system find a way to provide parents with a meaningful choice of in-person instruction or continued distance learning.” — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis -
He said that Martin County Superintendent Laurie Gaylord had told him that she viewed reopening her schools as a mission akin to a Navy SEAL operation, and he ran with the mixed metaphor in his address regarding schools reopening during coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday.
Ron DeSantis said that another county superintendent also told him that never before in his 26-year career had he witnessed what he saw during the first day of school: parents not only bringing their kids to school but also bringing presents and supplies for the teachers as a way to say thank you.
But viewers were struck by the less than a reassuring metaphor, especially since Florida is still averaging almost 7,000 positive coronavirus tests a day, according to New York Times tracking data, and more than 8,700 Floridians have died from the coronavirus.
In fact, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis remarks came the same day that a new Politico/Morning Consult poll found that 59 percent of surveyed Americans oppose the Trump administration’s call to fully reopen K-12 schools, which is up 6 percentage points from the 53 percent who were against this just last month.
This led Bin Laden to trend on Twitter, +1.01% overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning.
Others used the odd juxtaposition of killing a mass-murdering terrorist with reopening schools during a pandemic that has killed more than 165,000 Americans as a means to mock the Republican governor.
In fact, a New York Times analysis of data provided by the CDC found that at least 200,000 more Americans than usual have died since March, or about 60,000 more than the official data is linking to coronavirus.
Sorting out how and when to reopen schools as coronavirus cases continue to climb nationwide is a complicated issue.
Many parents struggled to work from home while also homeschooling their kids when the pandemic first shut down schools in the spring.
As a result, women have been more likely to drop out of the labor force or pare back their hours to make educating their kids at homework. People who can afford it are hiring expensive private tutors and teaching pods to manage the workload.
What’s more, the Brookings Institution think tank estimates that losing four months of school closures, including universities, could cost the $2.5 trillion or 12.7% of its annual gross domestic product.
It’s the reasoning – missing school hurts students’ future earning potential, as these institutions prepare students to enter the workforce and be productive members of the economy.