Trump speaking on reopening schools

Trump Attacks CDC Guidelines For Reopening Schools, Threatens Funding If They Stay Closed

Donald Trump issued multiple tweets on the subject of schools reopening in late summer, first threatening to cut off funding to schools that refuse to open and then, minutes later, criticizing the CDC guidelines for opening schools as “very tough and expensive.”

“In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS,” Trump wrote in his first tweet. “The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families.”

Some European nations are reopening schools, but fears remain that doing so could result in a new surge of COVID-19 cases, as keeping schools full of children six feet apart and properly sanitized poses a significant challenge. To reduce the risk, they have implemented strict rules and are testing all students regularly.

At the same time, unlike in the U.S., countries like Germany and Denmark successfully reduced the number of new coronavirus cases within their borders, with Denmark seeing only 10 new cases on Tuesday. The U.S. is currently seeing tens of thousands of new cases daily, with experts warning that this could rise to hundreds of thousands in the near future.

While schools in Germany are imposing “very tough” rules for reopening schools, Trump has promised to meet with the CDC after criticizing their guidelines as “impractical.” The agency responded by promising to update their recommendations by next week, with CDC Director Robert Redfield stressing that the guidelines are just that and not requirements.

“Remember it’s guidance, it’s not requirements, and its purpose is to facilitate the reopening and keeping open the schools in this country,” said Redfield.

The CDC’s latest guidelines are laid out with language suggesting that they are very much optional, stating that “schools may consider” each item.

Mike Pence, meanwhile, downplayed Trump’s threat to defund schools that don’t open, assuring the public that the administration would be “very respectful” of local governments that decide it’s not safe to fully open their school systems.

“We don’t want federal guidance to be a substitute for state and local laws and rules and guidance,” said Pence. “We’re here to assist with the shared objective, which I think is shared by every parent in America, which is we want to get our kids back. We want to get them back in the classroom.”

However, there are many in the U.S. who believe opening schools at all is too risky until the number of new cases falls to a manageable level. Some are accusing Trump of putting children at risk for a political agenda.

Unless delayed, some U.S. schools could be re-opening as soon as late August.