Carlee Simon, superintendent of Alachua County Public Schools, pens an op-ed in The Washington Post explaining why her school is opposing Gov. DeSantis and his dangerous approach to the pandemic:
While hundreds of parents, students and others have thanked us for prioritizing safety, we’ve faced the inevitable backlash from those who oppose mask requirements and reject the severity and even the existence of covid-19. I’ve been called a monster, child-abuser, communist, fascist, idiot and other names not fit to print. I’ve been threatened with legal action, protests, militia “enforcement” and worse. […]
The Florida Constitution says the state has a “paramount duty” to provide safe and high-quality public schools. It’s one of the highest constitutional standards for public education in the nation. We hope and expect that our state leaders will live up to that duty.
I will certainly do my part. I value life too much to take chances with the lives of others, even under the threat of retaliation. As our school board chair has so aptly put it, better a loss of funding than a loss of lives.
Meanwhile, Eugene Robinson examines the latest UN climate change report:
That is why massive investment in new technologies, such as solar power and energy storage, has to be such an urgent priority. At the rate we’re going, the world could warm by nearly 8 degrees Fahrenheit — by the end of this century, according to the IPCC. Relatively few of us who are alive today would still be around to witness what we have wrought. But we know we need to change our ways. Our descendants will curse our memory if we fail to act.
And here’s Paul Krugman’s take:
Before the right embraced Covid denial, there was climate denial. Many of the attitudes that have characterized the right-wing response to the coronavirus pandemic — refusal to acknowledge facts, accusations that scientists are part of a vast liberal conspiracy, refusal to address the crisis — were foreshadowed in the climate debate.
Yet from the response to Covid-19 among Republican officials — especially the opposition to lifesaving vaccines — it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the paranoid, anti-rational streak in American politics isn’t as bad as we thought; it’s much, much worse.
On a final note, Aaron Rupar at Vox takes a look at Donald Trump’s waning influence, at least when endorsement threats are concerned:
Former President Donald Trump released a statement on Saturday threatening to withhold his endorsement from any Republican who supports the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. Hours later, 18 Republican senators voted to advance the infrastructure package anyway.
It was just a procedural vote (the Senate hasn’t voted yet on passage of the bill, as of Monday afternoon). But the chain of events illustrates that at least when it comes to infrastructure, the former president’s threats don’t seem to carry the weight they once did.