The San Diego School Unified District is under fire after they pulled a letter written by the president to students from food baskets because the language the president used was not strong enough when it comes to masks.
Specifically, the district objected to a portion of the letter which read, “Practice social distancing and consider wearing a face covering when in public,” because it did not not state that face masks are required in public. In other words, even though President Trump specifically encouraged recipients of the letter to wear a face mask, the school district considered his letter objectionable because it did not order students to wear a face mask.
Superintendent Cindy Marten told Politico that the decision was made “in order to protect local families from being misled on how to protect themselves from becoming infected.”
The letter included in the food baskets has been criticized by opponents of the president as politicizing the pandemic. President Donald Trump takes credit for the federal program providing groceries to underprivileged families.
“As part of our response to coronavirus, I prioritized sending nutritious food from our farmers to families in need throughout America,” said the president in the letter.
Marten said that the objectionable portion of the letter was where the president talks about masks.
According to Marten, the letter only presents masks as an option, and doesn’t emphasize the necessity of mask-wearing enough.
“Science is clear: wearing masks works to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” she said in a statement.
“Wearing masks is required in California and on every San Diego Unified school campus,” Marten added. “It is not optional, as the president wrote in his letter.”
San Diego Unified Trustee Sharon Whitehurst-Payne was outraged at the letter and called it appalling.
“To take advantage of that suffering by distributing misleading medical information is appalling,” said Whitehurst-Payne. This is equivalent to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study in terms of the level of contempt demonstrated towards our community.”
The Tuskegee study was a disgraceful government experiment in the 1930s where the disease was allowed to spread without treatment among African-Americans so that health experts could study how it affected a community. Many of the participants died and there was great public outrage after the study was leaked and reported.
The San Diego School District is the second largest in the state of California and among the largest in the United States.