Lewis Blasts Walz’s & Smith’s Continued Support of Heavy-Handed Lockdown Measures
July 30, 2020
EAGAN, Minn. — U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis released the following statement after Governor Tim Walz announced his administration’s heavy-handed, top-down mandates on school reopening.
“For months now, I have been urging Minnesota’s political leaders to rethink their punitive lockdown strategy of closing businesses, limiting the right to assemble including worship, and keeping our kids out of school. We even sued the Governor over this. Naturally, Senator Tina Smith continues her disappearing act while Governor Tim Walz continues to act like a tin pot dictator.
Rather than leave this decision where it belongs, with local school boards, Governor Walz insists on implementing draconian regulations in order for schools to re-open this fall, including giving the Commissioners of Education and Health the ‘authority to close schools, charter schools, and school districts or to curtail school activity.’ It begs the question if this is a backdoor attempt to have schools remain shut down indefinitely.
Around the world, primary and secondary schools are reopening because the risks of keeping our children socially isolated far outweigh the risks of sending them back to school. It is unconscionable to think otherwise. There are too many studies to cite that have chronicled the toll this prolonged ‘summer slide’ has taken our kids. Not to mention the devastation to our children’s social and emotional development which is evident in the rise of mental health problems from a forced quarantine at such a young and vulnerable age.
In Minnesota, there has been one death of a young person under the age of 19 attributable to the virus, and numerous international studies show transmission among children in schools appears exceedingly low, if not nonexistent.
Those interested in ‘following the science’ can look no further than the American Academy of Pediatrics as well as the CDC, but I’ll trust the parents who are demanding their kids return to the classroom. That’s why I support the U.S. Senate’s recent pandemic plan to offer real school choice to those parents and students whose schools remain shut and opt for ineffective distance learning or whose districts suffer under a government union-led ‘safety strike.’ This Republican plan allocates $70 billion for K-12 education to help schools reopen. It also requires that states like Minnesota offer funds for homeschooling or a private alternative should public schools stay closed. Of course, my opponent, Senator Tina Smith, opposes this choice option. At the very least, property tax rebates are in order so that parents are not paying for schools not to teach in the most effective manner. Anything else is a public breach of contract for our kids.”