Sununu gives COVID-19 another chance

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I’m not a particularly profitable gambler—a quick perusal of my Venmo account will attest to this—but there’s one thing I will bet my house on: New Hampshire’s Gov. Chris Sununu will run for a U.S. Senate seat in 2022.

How do I know this?

I’m a public school teacher in New Hampshire.

On April 1, after a year of Sununu conceding local control to school districts across the state, during a pandemic that has made life feel like a sequence of scenes lifted from a Stanley Kubrick film, Governor Sununu decided it was high-time to issue an executive order that would override local control of schools[1].

Sununu decided that all New Hampshire schools needed to return to in-person instruction five days a week—even if all of the willing faculty members haven’t been fully vaccinated and the physical space in the building/classrooms makes social-distancing impossible[2].

Listen, I get it. People are sick and tired of the pandemic—I am, too—and it’s been devastating to our schools and local businesses.

And, true, many people have already been vaccinated, running the risks of having government tractors implanted, altering our DNA, causing blood clots or resulting in the growth of a third leg sprouting from our necks[3].

While we’re seeing some auspicious signs, it’s not safe to assume that the pandemic is over and we can return fully to our pre-COVID lifestyles. It doesn’t mean we stop taking the necessary precautions recommended by the doctors and scientists.

We’re not out of the woods yet.

But Sununu—who head-faked us by seeming sensible and contemplative and compassionate during the early-days of the coronavirus—shifted quick after his re-election and has now harnessed his inner-Ron DeSantis.

Today Sununu lifted the state mask mandate.

While doctors and scientists are warning us about a new surge brought on by new and more virulent variants of COVID-19, the governor is beginning his touchdown dance, and his reasoning seems self-serving for a man who was touting the science less than a year ago.

His decisions seem meant to galvanize a political base that Sununu will need for a successful Senate-run. In no uncertain terms, Sununu needs Donald Trump’s base, which consists largely of anti-vaxxers, virus-deniers, conspiracy-theorists and white nationalists[4]. He will also need to lean heavily on the business community for campaign donations.

Meanwhile, the governor’s overreach and vacillations in regards to education has left most of us in the profession confused and frustrated. While Sununu mandated that all students return into school buildings five days a week on April 19[5], he also allowed for families who felt uncomfortable sending their children back to continue in full-remote models.

So which one is it? If the virus is no longer a threat to public safety, what is the justification for allowing students to continue in a remote model?

I’m going to guess that Governor Sununu has never written a lesson plan in his life. I’m also going to guess that Governor Sununu has no earthly-clue that teaching remotely and in-person are not only two separate entities but extremely difficult to do simultaneously, requiring extra planning time.

Hopefully, Governor Sununu will be visiting all public schools in the state to enforce the school’s mask-mandates and make recommendations on how we can socially-distance in the buildings before all staff members are fully vaccinated.

Now that he’s usurped local control—after advocating for its importance like his hero former-President Trump, who set the federal standard for passing the buck—hopefully, Governor Sununu will provide every School Administrative Unit in the state with answers for these real concerns.

Or maybe he’s just courting Trump’s base and looking toward his Senate run.

Maybe I’m just being cynical. Maybe I need a muzzle. Or a mask.


[1] It is important to note that Sununu is currently contemplating a New Hampshire Senate bill (SB 154) that would effectively block state and local law enforcement from carrying out President Biden’s executive orders on gun restrictions.

[2] When science and math become inconvenient, there’s an unfortunate tendency for some in this country to tell science and math to STFU.

[3] All of these claims are either aberrations, patently false or specious, at best.

[4] I understand that this is volatile statement, but I can’t un-see the footage of that siege on the Capitol. And, no, the rioters weren’t Antifa operatives. And, by the way, Trump lost the election. By a lot. I’m not a big Biden fan, but Donald J. Trump lost the 2020 election. Please stop with the nonsense claiming otherwise.

[5] The only waiver in the state went to the Manchester School District, despite many districts applying and saying that they can’t meet Sununu’s deadline.