Pence ‘wouldn’t hesitate’ to send his kids back to school amid COVID-19

The Vice President says that he looks at the data regarding the coronavirus everyday and believes it is safe to send children back to class

Mike Pence
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing at the U.S. Department of Education. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

During a press briefing at the University of South Carolina, Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that he “wouldn’t hesitate” to send his own children back to school if they were school-age. 

Pence’s children are in their early 30s and late 20s. 

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“I can tell you, with my wife seated right here, that if our kids were elementary-school age, or high school or college, I wouldn’t hesitate to send them back to school,” Pence said to the reporters, “I have been looking at this data every day, and I encourage any American, any parent, in particular, to do the same.” 

The vice-president was in town for a roundtable event about safely opening schools. U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, was also present. South Carolina’s governor, Henry McMaster, local school leaders, and parents attended. 

According to The Greenville News, Pence told the leaders present that “the president and I fully support your decision to return students to school after Labor Day.”

He continued, “We believe it’s absolutely essential for our students, for working families and for our efforts to open up America again — that we open up America’s schools.”

In contrast, McMaster will be providing $32 million in grant funding to help families pay for private school tuition. The grants are called “Safe Access to Flexible Education (SAFE)” and will come out of $48 million in discretionary funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES Act. 

The funding will allow lower-income students to choose private schools, an effort that DeVos called “the model, frankly, that the nation should follow.” 

Pence took to Twitter to say that the administration will also support the state as they move to reopen.

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At the roundtable, Pence said, “All of the top medical advisors to the White House coronavirus task force have observed from early on that the risk the coronavirus poses to young people is very low.” 

“In fact, to hear from the National Academies of Science and Medicine, to hear from the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are almost greater risks to children not being in school than there are to children being in school.”

Pence ended by communicating that everyone has a role in making sure that the city remains safe, strongly advocating social distancing and wearing masks.

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