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.”
In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS. 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. May cut off funding if not open!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 8, 2020
I disagree with @CDCgov on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools. While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 8, 2020
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.
Trump wants to compare schools opening in Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Norway to the USA.— Mrs. Krassenstein (@HKrassenstein) July 8, 2020
This is the number of new cases of COVID yesterday in these nations:
USA - 55,442
Germany - 298
Sweden - 57
Denmark - 10
Norway - 11
That's comparing Apples to Ants.
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.
CDC Director Robert Redfield says CDC's guidelines are not intended to be a "rationale" for keeping schools closed. He said it would be "disappointing" if people used the guidelines as a rationale for not opening schools.— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) July 8, 2020
No word yet on Pres Trump attacking the CDC's guidelines.
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.
Re Trump’s back-to-school recommendation: SHUT UP, DONALD. NO SANE PARENT GIVES A SHIT WHAT YOU THINK.— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) July 8, 2020
When it’s safe enough for Manafort to go back to jail, we can discuss safely opening schools. 🤨— Linda Childers (@lindarchilders) July 6, 2020
I need you to know that the Trump administration will kill your children AND YOU merely so he can get on better footing for the election.— Darryn M. Briggs (@darryn_briggs) July 8, 2020
The United States is no position to even APPROACH talking about opening schools.
More schools would be opening more easily in the fall if the Trump Administration had handled the virus responsibly and competently. https://t.co/NuIVdARVrO— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 6, 2020
As a teacher, parent & human, schools cannot and should not have to choose between the health, safety and rights of their students. @Harvard and @MIT are leading the charge against yet another reckless, cruel & inane decision from the Trump administration: https://t.co/ozaEgxY9gE— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) July 8, 2020
The politicization of school openings by Trump and Pence is completely unnecessary. I don't know anyone who doesn't want schools to open. People just want to make sure its safe. This doesn't need to be a divisive issue. https://t.co/8IRHkVxXbm— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) July 8, 2020
If trump and his GOP want to sacrifice our children by opening crowded schools during a raging pandemic, their kids should go first. But that’s not who we are. NO ONE’s kids should be forced on the front lines to fight a battle that trump bungled so badly.#StaySafe #KeepCaring pic.twitter.com/ynsBUW5Pe4— Angelux (@Angelux1111) July 7, 2020
What could be worse? Threat to cut off funding unless schools open without regard to CDC guidelines. This might be one of the rare instances in which an ad claiming the incumbent might kill your children would not be an exaggeration— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) July 8, 2020
Unless delayed, some U.S. schools could be re-opening as soon as late August.