Trump Calls For the Reopening of Schools

In a phone call Monday, President Donald Trump suggested that schools could reopen soon, despite the continued spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the U.S., schools have closed their classrooms, offering distance learning to keep education going in the safest way possible. While for many it may not be the most effective method of receiving an education, each school system is working to create a balance that will limit the spread of disease, and still keep kids as much on track as possible.

According to Education Week, as of April 26, 43 states have either ordered or recommended school closure continuing through the end of the current academic year, with some other states having orders that are due to expire in the coming weeks. Many of the states with current orders to keep schools closed previously had earlier end dates, that have since been extended.

However, speaking on a conference call to governors Monday, Trump suggested that the reopening of schools could be moved up, according to Newsweek. Trump reportedly said, during the call, that young children have “done very well” through the pandemic, and that governors could “seriously consider and maybe get going on” reopening classrooms.

He reiterated this later in the evening, at his canceled-and-rescheduled news conference. Trump’s comments about school reopenings came in response to a question just past the 28-minute mark in the video below.

“I think you’ll see a lot of schools open up, even if it’s for a very short period of time. I think it would be a good thing, because as you see, in terms of what this vicious virus goes after, young people seem to do very well. Young people seem to do very well. SO I know that there are some governors that aren’t necessarily ready to open up their states, but they may be ready to open up their school systems.”

The CDC has noted (pdf) that short school closures do not appear to affect the spread of disease significantly in themselves. However, while noting that longer closures may increase congregation of students outside school, the CDC describes long-term closures, as long as 20 weeks, as having “greater impact in terms of overall transmission,” and “provide[ing] substantial protection for older staff and students and staff with underlying medical conditions.”

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