Rep. Mike Garcia, a Republican whose 25th District includes the Antelope Valley, joined 66 other Members of Congress to send a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to “follow the science on COVID-19” and encourage state and local leaders to reopen schools across California and the United States.
“We must reopen schools as soon as possible, and I don’t mean just one day a week as the Biden Administration ridiculously proposed,” Garcia said. “We are depriving children of the education and support that they need. It is time for President Biden and Governor Newsom to listen to the science and open our schools and communities back up.”
In the letter, the lawmakers requested that Biden follow through with the pledge he made during his campaign and inauguration to follow the science when it comes to COVID-19.
“Approximately six percent of children in the United States struggle with some form of emotional or behavioral difficulties, including autism, depression, and trauma-related mental health conditions. Many of those children depend upon their schools for access to the therapies they need. By allowing our nation’s schools to remain shuttered, you are depriving these children of the people and support systems they depend on,” the lawmakers wrote. “In addition to the impact of the youth mental health crisis, school closures are increasing education inequality in the United States.”
In the letter, the lawmakers also pointed out that case numbers and hospitalizations continue to drop across the country and urged Biden to encourage state and local leaders to begin the process of fully reopening the economy. The lawmakers point out that currently there are nearly ten million fewer jobs in the U.S. than before the pandemic.
“Our community and country have been devastated by mandated lockdowns,” Garcia said. “It is imperative that we do all we can to help our communities safely open up again. Many small businesses have had to shutter their doors and many more individuals have been left unemployed. It does not help that the State of California is struggling to properly distribute unemployment claims to Californians in need. We cannot continue down this path that is destroying our economy and community.”