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Asked on Friday for the administration’s thoughts on the growing practice of little children being forced to eat their school lunches outside in the blistering cold, White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended it, citing her own son as an example.
“Well, schools are taking steps — especially since we’ve only recently approved, through the CDC and FDA, vaccines for 5- to 11-year-olds; they’re not approved for kids younger than that — to keep their kids safe and keep students safe,” she said.
“I will tell you, I have a three-year-old who goes to school, sits outside for snacks and lunch, wears a mask inside, and it’s no big deal to him. I’m not saying that’s the case for everybody, but these are steps that schools are taking to keep kids safe. And I think the vast majority of parents appreciate that,” she added.
On Friday, the high in Washington, D.C., which is presumably where her son attends school, was about 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which wasn’t too bad.
However, according to The Weather Channel, the high is slated to drop to the upper and eventually lower 40s starting on the week of Monday, Dec. 20th.
It’s unclear whether Psaki will be as blasé about her son eating outdoors once the temperature hits the 40s.
“Obviously, we want to get to a point where we’re turning to a version of normalcy for everybody, right? Where you’re not sending your kid’s backpack with seven extra masks, right? Where you’re not adding two hats so that they’re warm outside for a snack. There’s no question that’s the case,” the White House press secretary continued.
“But we also think the most important thing should be safety — the safety of kids; keeping kids in school, which the president is very focused on. And some of these steps — creative steps that schools have taken have enabled that to be possible,” she added.
Critics were left unconvinced, especially given reports that some schoolchildren have been forced to eat lunch outdoors in temperatures as low as 37 degrees. Keep in mind these are raw temperatures that aren’t factoring in the wind chill.
See some of the backlash that was directed at Psaki:
@PressSec No, it ISN’T ok for children to be outside in the cold to eat lunch. As a parent of children with asthma, the cold can trigger it and kids can get sick out in the cold. Let’s se you sit your ass outside in the cold to eat if it’s ok.
— Louisiexan (@Rebel6402) December 11, 2021
@PressSec just because you’re a rotten mother who doesn’t give a crap about her child, it doesn’t mean the most barbaric policy of having our children eat outside in frigid temperatures is normal. Some parents love their children. Yours should be taken away from you.
— matt anthony (@mmelone33) December 11, 2021
She’s so hard to watch because everything she says is so condescending. The vast majority of parents don’t mind?? That’s not been my experience at all. My kid thankfully eats inside, but I don’t know anyone who thinks kids eating outside in freezing weather is okay
— Crispix44 (@crispix44) December 11, 2021
I’d like to hear from the 3 year old, please.
— Daniela Jampel (@daniela127) December 10, 2021
Below is video footage of kindergartens at an elementary school in far-left Portland, Oregon, eating lunch outdoors in 40-degree weather last week:
CHILD ABUSE: Kindergartners are forced to eat lunch outside in 40 degree weather at Capitol Hill Elementary School in Portland, Oregon.
They sit on buckets to social distance from their classmates. pic.twitter.com/KqFcliTFYf
— Katie Daviscourt🇺🇸 (@KatieDaviscourt) December 8, 2021
In an interview with Katie Daviscourt of The Post Millennial, one parent said that watching the children eating outdoors while the state’s governor prances about unmasked was the “last straw” for them.
“I am beyond furious, especially knowing children are low-risk. Governor Brown maskless in DC this weekend was the last straw. We’ve been patient with all of the policies here in Portland in hopes of not being ostracized within the community, but this is the last straw. I will be picking my child up to have lunch at home,” they said.
The woman in the middle is Oregon Governor Kate Brown. Oregon just announced a permanent indoor mask mandate. As in, forever. Unless you’re a Democrat politician. https://t.co/2VGoHTj9kf
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 (@ChristinaPushaw) December 6, 2021
The only potential “good news” — and that term is used very loosely, given the horrible ramifications for children — is that this draconian stance is expected to hurt the Democrat Party.
In fact, even a far-left columnist with The New York Times has complained about these restrictions.
Michelle Goldberg, who’s so anti-Trump that she needed to wear a “safe space” safety pin following his election to office in 2016, tweeted in horror on Wednesday about the unvaccinated children at her kids’ school being forced to eat lunch outdoors in the cold — and the vaccinated kids like her own being allowed to eat inside, but without sitting at tables or talking to one another.
Earlier I deleted a tweet about my kid’s school because I felt like I hadn’t done enough to confirm what my daughter was telling me, but now I have. At least one NYC public school is indeed making kids sit on the floor to eat lunch inside, for covid reasons.
— Michelle Goldberg (@michelleinbklyn) December 8, 2021
Most days they sit on the ground to eat outside, but parents were recently asked if their kids had permission to eat inside when it’s too cold. My kids are double vaxxed so I said yes. In addition to not being allowed to sit at tables, they’re not allowed to talk to each other.
— Michelle Goldberg (@michelleinbklyn) December 8, 2021
A report published the following day at The Week noted that this could spell backlash.
“The potential for backlash here is obvious. Glenn Youngkin’s recent win in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, a largely unanticipated victory for Republicans, was partly driven by parental anger over COVID-driven school closures,” it reads.
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