DeVos' appearances on Sunday continue an effort by the Trump administration to push local and state officials to reopen schools, part of a broader effort to return the economy to normal even as new cases of COVID-19 in the US hit record levels.
If that's not the Trump administration's approach to this whole pandemic, I don't know what is.
DeVos called the guidelines "common sense" measures created to be helpful to schools as they consider how, not if, to reopen.
Pelosi argued that the Trump administration was "messing with the health of our children". "There's nothing in the data that suggests that kids being back in school is unsafe to them". Education groups estimate that administrators need much more money than that in order to safely get students and teachers back in the fall.
DeVos said on CNN's "State of the Union".
"The rule should be that kids go back to school this fall", DeVos said, adding that teachers who are at greater risk from the coronavirus because of their age or underlying conditions should work it out with their local school districts.
DeVos said the CDC guidance were meant to be "flexible" and "meant to be applied as appropriate". "There's ample opportunity to have kids in school". They need to be learning, they need to be moving ahead.
"We know there are going to be hot spots and those are going to need to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis", she said.
She also failed to put forth any other blueprint for safe school reopenings, saying there was no single solution.
During an interview Sunday morning on CNN's "State of the Union", DeVos repeatedly refused to say whether schools should follow the CDC's reopening guidelines and claimed "there's nothing in the data that suggests that kids being in school is in any way unsafe".
Asked what a colleges really should do if there is an outbreak, she claimed that as a "non-healthcare expert" she could not say, but that "every school" should have plans to continue earning at a length.
That drew a sharp retort from a top Democrat, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who called DeVos's remarks "malfeasance and dereliction of duty".
"May cut off funding if not open!"
A new report has found that roughly one out of every four teachers in the United States, almost 1.5 million instructors, have a condition that puts them at a higher risk of developing serious illness from COVID-19. So far in July, 24 states have reported record increases in cases of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, according to a Reuters tally.
School superintendent Scott Brabrand in Fairfax County, Virginia, a large suburban jurisdiction outside Washington, has offered parents a choice: five days a week of virtual classroom instruction for their children or three days online and two inside schools.
DeVos claimed in another interview with Fox News that "there's nothing in the data that suggests that kids being in school is in any way risky".