President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer chairman of Wisconsin GOP party signals he will comply with Jan. 6 committee subpoena Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon tells Russia to stand down Billionaire GOP donor maxed out to Manchin following his Build Back Better opposition MORE on Wednesday said that he would be comfortable sending his school-age son and grandchildren to school in person this fall amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“I am comfortable with that, and we do have a national strategy, but, as you know, ultimately, it’s up to the governors of the states,” Trump said Wednesday after being asked if he plans to “do a national strategy to help schools reopen” and whether he would feel comfortable sending the children in his family to school.
“I would like to see the schools open 100 percent. And we’ll do it safely. We’ll do it carefully,” Trump told reporters at a Wednesday press briefing.
NEW: Pres. Trump tells @jonkarl he'd be comfortable with his son, grandchildren returning to school this fall.— ABC News (@ABC) July 22, 2020
Trump also claims he has a "national strategy" for school re-openings, but does not provide any details: "Ultimately, it's up to the governors." https://t.co/Tg1fUHOQlV pic.twitter.com/JG3Zr2l5kM
Trump said the administration is “looking at” research on whether children transmit the virus as easily as adults and how easily they become infected with COVID-19 in the first place.
"Now, they don't catch it easily. They don't bring it home easily, and if they do catch it, they get better fast. We're looking at that fact. That is a factor, and we're looking at it strongly," Trump told reporters.
Trump’s son Barron is 14 years old. Trump has 10 grandchildren.
St. Andrew's Episcopal School, which Barron Trump has attended for the last three years, announced this week that it does not plan to fully reopen amid concerns about the pandemic. The private school in Maryland said in a letter to parents that it will either implement a hybrid model with some in-person learning and some remote learning to stagger attendance, or it will hold classes completely online, The New York Times reported.
White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx told Fox News following the president’s briefing that the issue of how contagious children may be needs additional research.
"There's still open questions there, and that's why the president concluded with 'We're studying this very hard,'" she told the outlet.
The widest available research about children becoming infected with COVID-19 was done in South Korea, and Birx called for the data "to be confirmed here."
The study in South Korea found that children older than 10 were as likely to transmit the virus as adults. However, children younger than 10 were less likely to spread the coronavirus, according to multiple reports.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association released a joint report this week finding that severe illness among children who contract COVID-19 is rare. However, more children have tested positive for coronavirus as cases have increased in states across the country in recent weeks.
Updated July 24 at 10:23 a.m.
Brett Samuels contributed to this report