Miami-Dade Schools Chief Urges Teachers, Organizations to 'Step Up' on COVID Vax Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is seen during a school board meeting in 2018. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
By Fran Beyer | Sunday, 12 September 2021 02:31 PM
"Trusted" local governments in Florida should “step up” to provide a “course of reason” for why people must get COVID-19 vaccinations, the head of schools in Miami-Dade County in Florida said Sunday.
In an interview on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” Alberto Carvalho, school superintendent in Miami-Dade County, lamented the issue of vaccines has become a political issue.
“Local governments that are usually trusted — school districts, teachers, educators, superintendents, school board members, community-based organizations — need to step up to provide an echo and a course of reason in our communities,” he said.
“This should not be a political issue. This is a health concern issue. We've never debated the value of vaccination for measles, mumps, polio or hepatitis.”
“What's different now,” he continued. “The conditions? The health conditions are not what's causing this issue. Politics are, and sadly, here we are debating this from a political perspective, rather than a health benefit perspective.”
Carvalho said he’s “concerned for our kids.”
“They are being used as political pawns in this political chess game, and that is reprehensible,” he said.
In Florida, the state has banned mask mandates in schools, but Carvalho is arguing the ban violates the rights of children with disabilities — an issue the the federal government is investigating.
“The recent actions taken in [Florida state capital] Tallahassee are contrary to the expert advice of public health and medical entities that declare that mask mandates are protective measures that serve a compelling public interest,” he maintained.
“We're still in a community where the positivity rate is at 8%, where the number of cases per 100,000 residents is elevated at around 330 when back in June, it was only about 76 individuals per 100,000.”
“The conditions are not what they should be for us to relax the protocols,” he insisted.