Trump urged governors to ‘get going’ on school openings: report

President Trump reportedly urged some state governors to consider reopening schools for the remainder of the school year during a conference call on Monday, despite the federal government’s recommendations urging otherwise.

On the conference call, Trump said some governors should “seriously consider” reopening schools and “maybe get going on it” while noting that “young children have done very well” during the coronavirus outbreak, according to a recording obtained by ABC News.

“Some of you might start thinking about school openings. Because a lot of people are wanting to have the school openings. It’s not a big subject, young children have done very well in this disaster that we’ve all gone through,” the president said, according to ABC. “So a lot of people are thinking about the school openings.”

The president expanded on those comments Monday at a press conference detailing his administration’s ongoing efforts against coronavirus, telling reporters: “Not a long way to go in the school system right now… for this year. But 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,” he continued. “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 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 White House’s own guidelines for reopening state economies recommend that schools stay closed until a second phase, after some businesses and public spaces have already been reopened.

“SCHOOLS AND ORGANIZED YOUTH ACTIVITIES (e.g., daycare, camp) that are currently closed should remain closed,” reads the White House’s phase one guidelines.

The White House’s guidelines go on to recommend that schools remain closed until individual states have passed “gating” criteria for the number of new infections reported and show no evidence of a rebound in the number of infections for at least a 14-day period.

“State and local officials may need to tailor the application of these criteria to local circumstances (e.g., metropolitan areas that have suffered severe COVID outbreaks, rural and suburban areas where outbreaks have not occurred or have been mild). Additionally, where appropriate, Governors should work on a regional basis to satisfy these criteria and to progress through the phases outlined below,” reads the White House website.

The president has clashed publicly with some governors over the pace of reopening state economies, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who warned that a “constitutional crisis” would emerge should Trump order states to reopen without the agreement of governors.

Updated at 6:40 p.m. with comments from the president’s press conference

Tags Andrew Cuomo Donald Trump
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