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Sunday shows preview: Trump, lawmakers weigh in on COVID-19, masks and school reopenings amid virus surge

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School reopenings, masks and new coronavirus cases will dominate the discussion during the Sunday morning show circuit this weekend, as President Trump has signaled he will not issue a nationwide mandate on face masks, and continues to apply pressure for school districts to open their doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In the past two weeks, President Trump has threatened to withhold money from school districts that don’t reopen for in-person learning, and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has criticized schools districts that have floated hybrid plans that include a mix of in-person and virtual learning, calling such ideas unacceptable. 

Despite the threats from the White House, some school districts — like the district in Richmond, Va. — have announced that they will be fully virtual for the fall term.

On Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany pointed to a study published by JAMA Pediatrics in defense of the administration’s adamant stance about schools reopening.

“The science is on our side here, and we encourage for localities and states to just simply follow the science, open our schools,” McEnany said, explaining that the study demonstrates that children are at “far less” of a risk to become severely ill from COVID-19 than from the seasonal flu.

In an interview that will run in its entirety on “Fox News Sunday,” Trump tells host Chris Wallace that he’s a “believer in masks,” but won’t impose a national mask mandate.

“I want people to have a certain freedom and I don’t believe in that, no,” Trump said. “I don’t agree with the statement that if everyone wore a mask, everything disappears.”

Most states have implemented a mask requirement for their residents while out in public in recent weeks due to the resurgence of the virus in much of the country.

Georgia, Iowa, and Nebraska are the only states in the country that don’t have statewide mask requirements and also block local municipalities and governments from issuing their own requirements. 

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) sued Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) this week for making masks mandatory in her city. Bottoms will appear on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma don’t have statewide mandates but allow localities to take action.

All of this comes as states concentrated in the South and West have consistently set records for the number of daily new infections statewide.

The U.S. as a whole set a new record this week with over 75,000 new coronavirus cases nationwide in a single day. 

A handful of governors will appear on this week’s morning shows. Govs. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) will appear on ABC’s “This Week.” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) will be on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan will join Bottoms on “Face the Nation,” while Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) will appear on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The full lineup of shows is below.

ABC’s “This Week” — Govs. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.); Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla.) Grenita Lathan, interim superintendent of the Houston Independent School District.

NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Polis; Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.); Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health; Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio); Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.); Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D); Dr. Michael Drake, incoming president of the University of California.

CNN’s “State of the Union” — Clyburn; Mayors Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles and Ted Wheeler of Portland, Ore.; Gov. Tate Reeves (R-Miss.); Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.

Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday” — President Donald Trump.

Fox News’  “Sunday Morning Futures” — House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA);Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA); Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist; Ray Dalio, co-chief investment officer & co-chairman of Bridgewater Associates; Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff.

“America This Week” — Ted Nugent; Roger Stone; Jerry and Becki Falwell, Liberty University; David Bernhardt, secretary of the Interior; Hogan Gidley, press secretary for Trump campaign; Jack Brewer, former NFL player; Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch; former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.);
Panel: Ameshia Cross, Sebastian Gorka.

Tags Ayanna Pressley Betsy DeVos Chris Wallace coronavirus pandemic Donald Trump Donna Shalala Jared Polis John Kennedy Kevin McCarthy Mark Meadows mask requirement Roger Stone schools reopening Sebastian Gorka second wave Steve Bannon Sunday talk shows Trump

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