CVS is open so schools should be too, says Marco Rubio
Sen. Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio
The Senator's comments are reminiscent of Gov. DeSantis' Home Depot remarks.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on Tuesday continued making the argument that schools must reopen to restore normalcy to America’s youth.

In an appearance on Fox News, the Senator noted that just as retail and other businesses are open, so too should educational institutions.

“People are going to work everyday. They’re going to work at the grocery store. They’re going to work at Walgreens, Wal-Mart, CVS. They’re picking up garbage. They’re police and fire, the janitors … people are going to work everyday,” Rubio said, adding that “similar expectations should be placed on those in the education system.”

“We have to figure out a way to get back into school. Maybe you start a little later, get flexible on the scheduling, but it has to happen,” Rubio said. “The biggest losers in this decision making are going to be lower and middle income families who do not have those options available to them to leave their kids at home.”

The outbreak of the coronavirus this year, and the upending of society it has produced, have caused these views of school in American life to collide in ways that have thrown millions of parental lives into disarray. Now, President Donald Trump is demanding that schools reopen in the fall. But with the virus resurging widely, many working parents see no good options.

In Florida and Texas, both states with spiking case numbers, officials are requiring school districts to offer in-person schooling to those who want it. Texas’ guidance for schools includes a recommendation to space desks six feet apart and, if that’s impossible, “plan for more frequent hand washing and/or hand sanitizing” and “consider whether increased airflow from the outdoors is possible.”

Rubio’s words mirror a statement from Gov. Ron DeSantis that went viral a few days ago.

“I’m confident if you can do Home Depot, if you can do Walmart, if you can do these things, we absolutely can do the schools. I want our kids to be able minimize the education gap that I think has developed,” the Governor said Thursday in Jacksonville.

Critics of DeSantis’ statement noted a vast difference between the occasional trip to a big box store and spending several hours a day, five days a week in school rooms, many of which are in antiquated buildings with HVAC systems that are suspect at best, especially in Florida’s major cities.

Whether Rubio’s variation on the same theme receives a similar critique isn’t yet clear, but the Senator mirrors the Governor’s thinking that those students most impacted are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“If schools aren’t open, you’re probably dropping the kid off with a lady in the neighborhood who takes care of all the kids,” Rubio said, noting that students not subject to “brick and mortar” institutions may fall through the cracks in ways beyond learning outcomes.

“A lot of child abuse cases are identified in schools,” Rubio noted.

Students and teachers who can’t hazard risk need a “non-school option,” but the rest need to be “in a brick and mortar facility so they can learn.”

As he did on a Monday hit on CNBC, the Senator urged a cost-benefit analysis, one that includes “significant costs.”

“At some point schools really need to open,” Rubio reiterated.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Frankie M.

    July 14, 2020 at 10:46 am

    People are going to CVS drive thrus to get tested for covid. Maybe we should do that with schools as well? It can be one stop shopping! This guy would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle.

  • jon

    July 14, 2020 at 11:30 am

    There is no reason that schools are not open! Retarded demoRATS will do anything to keep Trump under the gun! All they are doing is sealing his victory in November! Guaranteed!

    • Ward Posey

      July 14, 2020 at 11:56 am

      Little Marco, the cowardly non-server and trump the five time draft dodging coward what a pair. They deserve a firing squad at dawn.

      • Sonja Fitch

        July 15, 2020 at 8:53 am

        Good god almighty! Little Marco and the whole damn bunch of goptrump sociopaths are trying to use our children to kill and maim other older folks! A bunch of damn nazi! By the way when was the last time little Marco you steppes foot in a Walmart? mASkHOLE!

      • DisplacedCTYankee

        July 15, 2020 at 8:56 am

        The U.S. has many, many more “non-servers” than people who ever spent time in the military. So, don’t use this as an excuse to piss on Drumpf and Liddle Marco. There are plenty of other, legitimate reasons to do so.

  • James R. Miles

    July 15, 2020 at 9:28 am

    Does anyone really care about what Marco thinks? He is a do nothing Senator who represents his rich owners and no one else. Marco collects his salary, runs for President and does little, if anything!

  • Tom

    July 15, 2020 at 9:37 am

    Do Marco’s ear grow every time he says something stupid?

    • Heather

      July 15, 2020 at 10:13 am

      That was funny! I guess he figures his constituents have an IQ of 10. HOW can a normal human being even come up with a comparison such as that.
      Let’s use the comparison of schools = gyms, indoor bars.
      I think parents should have a choice. There are SO many ways an education can be supplied.
      For example, arrange small co-ops, make classroom bubbles, supply grab and go packaged meals, parents who feel safer drive their children to school, limit passengers on busses, when weather permits in FL, do outdoor classrooms, have adequate daily testing available for staff.
      Install sanitation stands in each class.
      We homeschooled our 2 children from K-12. Then they went to college. Going to public school is not the only way children can be educated.

  • Dave Daoud

    July 15, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Ok, then. I’ll run into my school real quick to grab my kids assignments, just as fast as I dash into a CVS to pick up a prescription. Will that do?

  • James Pulliam

    July 15, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    I have two granddaughters, one 8 and the other 4. Their parents are not going to send them back to school this fall. They are going to home school them because they feel it is too risky and too soon for children in that age group to go back to school.
    My daughter has a Phd in genetic treatment of diseases and is employed by ELI Lilly, a pharmaceutical company. Lilly has insisted that she work from home until 2021. Lilly is working on a vaccine with a Chinese company who has had first hand experience with this virus. With all the work going on around the world for a vaccine and an anti-biotic defense, there should be no rush to endanger children, who along with older people(over 60) are in more danger, than the mid-range age group to the effects of this virus. Until we know what and how to deal with this in a satisfactory manner discretion is the better part of valor. (I heard this some where! Makes sense)

  • Callahan Sam

    July 15, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    Mr. Gancarski writes more articles about Rubio than any writer I’m aware of, anywhere. I don’t get it. Nothing Rubio says or does is worthy of front page mentions, unless he’s gonna finally come outta the closet.

    Rubio is not interesting or relevant. Aside from being Trump’s lap dog, he hasn’t done anything in office other than run his stupid lying mouth.

    FUCK YOU, Marco Rubio! We don’t care about anything you have to say, we are worried about our children!

    I’m absolutely voting against this douche in 2022!

  • longtail

    July 16, 2020 at 6:22 am

    Any state that can’t manage to get a handle on coronavirus after five months certainly isn’t ready to start schools up yet. Perhaps, if they get serious about following health guidelines like other industrialized nations have, schools could start up this winter. Unfortunately there is no indication that these states are ready to take the pandemic seriously yet and it’s obvious that the Trump administration is incapable of helping.

  • Sofia

    July 16, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Oh little Marco. Read below (if you can read )

    Questions for School Openings:
    (Thanks Andre Hatchett for making this available )

    • If a teacher tests positive for COVID-19 are they required to quarantine for 2-3 weeks? Is their sick leave covered, paid?

    • If that teacher has 5 classes a day with 30 students each, do all 150 of those students need to then stay home and quarantine for 14 days?

    • Do all 150 of those students now have to get tested? Who pays for those tests? Are they happening at school? How are the parents being notified? Does everyone in each of those kids’ families need to get tested? Who pays for that?

    • What if someone who lives in the same house as a teacher tests positive? Does that teacher now need to take 14 days off of work to quarantine? Is that time off covered? Paid?

    • Where is the district going to find a substitute teacher who will work in a classroom full of exposed, possibly infected students for substitute pay?

    • Substitutes teach in multiple schools. What if they are diagnosed with COVID-19? Do all the kids in each school now have to quarantine and get tested? Who is going to pay for that?

    • What if a student in your kid’s class tests positive? What if your kid tests positive? Does every other student and teacher they have been around quarantine? Do we all get notified who is infected and when? Or because of HIPAA regulations are parents and teachers just going to get mysterious “may have been in contact” emails all year long?

    • What is this stress going to do to our teachers? How does it affect their health and well-being? How does it affect their ability to teach? How does it affect the quality of education they are able to provide? What is it going to do to our kids? What are the long-term effects of consistently being stressed out?

    • How will it affect students and faculty when the first teacher in their school dies from this? The first parent of a student who brought it home? The first kid?

    • How many more people are going to die, that otherwise would not have if we had stayed home longer?

    30% of the teachers in the US are over 50. About 16% of the total deaths in the US are people between the ages of 45-65.

    We are choosing to put our teachers AND STUDENTS in danger.

  • Nelson Kallis

    July 17, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Is he sending his kids to public school? I think not. Rich SOB living off the middle class. How do these A-holes get voted in? Florida the disgrace of the nation. Unfortunately, I live there.

Comments are closed.


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