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DeSantis, labor secretary stress importance of in-person learning during Jacksonville visit

Governor & labor secretary discuss education, COVID-19 and unemployment during visit to JaxPort

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – During a Thursday visit to JaxPort, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia discussed education and the plan for students to return to school in the fall amid the state’s continued efforts to battle the novel coronavirus.

Scalia spoke strongly in favor of reopening schools, saying it’s beneficial to people in the workplace.

“I know there are parents across the country that are getting up extra early to work before the kids are up or staying up extra late to get the work done after kids go to bed,” Scalia said.

The labor secretary said that before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there was a lower unemployment rate for adult women than adult men.

“Unfortunately, that’s now flipped,” Scalia said. “If we don’t get our schools open, it’s going to be that much harder for working adult women, who are facing a higher unemployment rate, to get back to work.”

Scalia said that since May, an additional 7.5 million jobs, saying it adds to the urgency for schools to reopen.

DeSantis also said he felt strongly about the need for students to return to school, saying he “would not hesitate” allowing his own children to attend class in-person, pointing out that his three children aren’t yet old enough to attend school.

“In spite of good efforts with the online, it’s just not the same, so I worry about that [education] gap,” DeSantis said. “I also worry about what it does to them in terms of just socializing and being normal kids.”

The governor added the pandemic has made clear to him that if a student has a medical issue, accommodations need to be made.

Republican National Convention

DeSantis was asked about a Washington Post article posted Thursday reporting that Republican officials are exploring the possibility of hosting the RNC in one of two outdoor stadiums in Downtown Jacksonville.

“My view was that outside was always something they were looking at,” DeSantis said. “I think you look at some place like, you know, like the Daily’s pavilion, especially with Florida weather, I think you could do that in a way that would be very safe.”

The governor continued, “Looking at something outdoors makes a lot of sense to me.”

A comment from the Republican National Convention Host Committee reads:

“Jacksonville is a world-class destination with state of the art facilities. In addition to Veterans Memorial Arena, TIAA Bank Field, our baseball park and Dailey’s (sic) Place, as well as other venues will be a part of hosting this historic event here in the River City.”

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump pointed to being “very flexible” when asked if increasing coronavirus cases in Florida could affect his desire for a big nominating convention in the city.

“When we signed a few weeks ago, it looked good,” Trump said during an appearance on the “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren” show. “And now, all of a sudden, it’s spiking up a little bit. And that’s going to go down. It really depends on the timing. Look, we’re very flexible. We can do a lot of things. But we’re very flexible.”


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