U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., released a message discussing the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on schools reopening this fall and the need for additional relief from the federal government. The message is below.
“The challenge before us is about a lot more than just the fear of catching a disease. We had to cancel weddings. We couldn’t hold funerals. High school seniors had no prom, no senior trip, no graduation ceremony.
“You know, our children didn’t really learn enough at the end of the last school year. And now, the new school year is going to start out the same way. And kids who worked their whole lives for the chance at a sports scholarship now are afraid that their senior season is going to be canceled altogether.
“The hard truth is it’ll be awhile before we can go back to doing things the way we once did, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do everything we can to find a new normal — one that allows us to get back to doing the things that make life worthwhile.
“Government plays a big role in making this kind of new normal possible. We can help get kids back to school and sports with a new testing strategy that is faster and cheaper than what we have right now. We can help save jobs with a new round of PPP loans for struggling small businesses. And we can help prevent families from going into poverty by extending help to those who lost their jobs and still can’t find new work.
“Those who say that our national debt is a big problem, they’re right but not doing enough right now would be an even bigger problem. If our economy suffers deep damage — if millions of people go into poverty — it’s going to be even harder to get the debt under control when this pandemic ends.
“These things we must do now are not permanent policies. They are a response to a national emergency, which threatens to do damage that will be with us long after this disease has been defeated. This will not all end quickly, but it’s also not going to be like this forever.
“American innovation is closing in on better ways to test for and treat this disease, and eventually to defeat it. We in government must do all we can to make sure these advances come as quickly as possible. And we must make sure that in the meantime, we are doing all we can to get us safely back to school and work and life.”