Trump economic adviser says returning to school amid pandemic is 'not that hard'

White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE told reporters Friday that it was important for schools to reopen in the fall despite risks from the novel coronavirus, saying safely bringing students back is "not that hard."

"The president has been very vocal about going back to school. And I would add to that, as I said, all these fancy colleges and universities, of which I went to one," Kudlow told reporters. "They should get with the drill, you know? Put the guys in classrooms and let them learn. Or, God knows what they're teaching, but whatever. I'll put it in good faith."

"Just go back to school, we can do that," Kudlow continued. "And you know, you can social distance, you can get your temperature taken, you can be tested, you can have distancing — come on, it's not that hard."

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The safety of school reopenings has been at the center of national debate as the start of the school year draws closer and the nation sees climbing cases of COVID-19.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Jimmy Kimmel hits Trump for rallies while hosting Emmy Awards MORE has pushed for students to go back to school, and this week threatened to cut funding of those that don't fully reopen this fall. He also this week criticized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) guidelines on reopening schools, calling them "very tough and expensive."

Vice President Pence later announced the CDC was rolling out more guidance on the matter, following Trump's criticisms.

CDC Director Robert Redfield also said Thursday that the health risks of keeping schools closed are greater than those of opening them.

"I'm of the point of view as a public health leader in this nation, that having the schools actually closed is a greater public health threat to the children than having the schools reopen," Redfield told The Hill.

Meanwhile, some teachers and teachers' groups are worried about returning in the fall.

The president of the nation’s largest teachers union hit Trump this week for calling for schools to resume in-person classes this fall, saying reopening cannot take place without guaranteeing the safety of students and staff.

“We see what happens when they let bars open prematurely,” National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia said. “This isn’t a bar. We’re talking about second graders. I had 39 sixth graders one year in my class. I double-dog dare Donald Trump to sit in a class of 39 sixth graders and breathe that air without any preparation for how we’re going to bring our kids back safely.”