Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called the challenge in reopening America’s schools a “national emergency” Wednesday that was compounded by President Donald Trump’s failure to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden said school superintendents estimate they need $200 billion to cover extra costs to protect health during the school year, and more would be needed for colleges. The former vice president said the federal government should cover costs for personal protective equipment, sanitizing cleansers and additional staff to keep classes smaller.

“This is a national emergency. But President Trump still does not have a real plan for how to open our schools safely,” said Biden, who was accompanied to the speech in Wilmington, Delaware, by his wife, Jill, a longtime college professor and high school teacher. “He’s offered us nothing but failure and delusions from start to finish and American families and our children are paying the price.”

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