When asked about the safety of students returning to the classrooms, Senator John Cornyn told a local affiliate in Texas, “We still don’t know whether children can get it and transmit it to others.”
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, more than 1,700 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in people ages 0-19 statewide. More than 500 of those patients are under the age of 10.
“I think the most important thing is safety. The schools can open, but if parents don’t feel comfortable sending their children back then they won’t go. So, I think we’ve got a long way to go to regaining their confidence,” he said. “The good news is if you look again at the numbers, no one under the age of 20 has died of the coronavirus. We still don’t know whether children can get it and transmit it to others.”
Cornyn tried to clarify that his answer was specific to Texas, but a 17-year-old was the youngest victim of COVID-19 in Dallas County. A spokesperson said Cornyn was following a dashboard provided by a Texas Bicentennial group.
Cornyn said he was concerned with students falling behind with at-home learning, and praised Governor Abbott’s leadership. While he agrees with local leaders having authority on masks in their communities, he doesn’t think locals should be able to issue stay-at-home orders.
“I think that’s an overreaction. I don’t think that’s necessary. We did do that for a while to bend the curve, and we all learned to be in our homes and not go outside. I think we need to deal with this not with a sense of fear and dread, but just to learn the lessons that this virus has been teaching us over the last few months.”
Cornyn will be working with other Senators in Washington on the next coronavirus relief package.
“Before we start adding to the national debt, I want to make sure that we are spending the money that we’ve appropriated in the most effective way,” Cornyn said. “It’s clear we need to continue to help, but it’s not clear that we need to do this as broadly as we tried to do in March.”
See local source NBCDFW.