United States Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said he has been in touch with schools in Florida and Texas that have decided to ignore the mask mandate ban in the state. “We got your back”, Cardona told the schools, according to US media reports.

Last week, Flordia governor Ron De Santis, who is a member of the Republican party, threatened to retain salaries for those schools who worked their way around the ban on the mask mandate. However, according to reports from ABC News, the United States Secretary of Education assured the schools that federal funding would come in their aid.

After touring a public school in New York’s Bronx, Cardona said in an interview with ABC News, “I have had conversations with superintendents and they have asked if this goes in that direction, how do we get support? My message is, open the schools safely. We got your back”.

Secretary Cardona further announced in the interview that he had personally sent letters to the school’s authorities about the federal backing he was offering.

The news comes the United States is struggling to limit the COVID-19 cases since late July as the Delta variant of the virus spreads at a great speed. Due to this, the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidelines and advised students and faculty to wear face masks.

“We are always going to be monitoring changes in Delta and we are willing to move if we need to move, but right now we can safely return our students to school if we follow the mitigation strategies, get vaccinated when you can”, Secretary Cardona said, according to reports from ABC News.

States like Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Arizona and Florida have banned schools from imposing a mask mandate on students, teachers and staff.