President Donald Trump urged state governors to “seriously consider” reopening their public schools” after some announced schools would remain shuttered through the end of the year. Trump reportedly made the suggestion on a conference call with the nation’s governors.
“Some of you might start to think about school openings,” Trump said according to audio obtained by The New York Times. “I think it’s something, Mike, they can seriously consider and maybe get going on it.”
“The young children have done very well in this disaster that we’ve all gone through, so a lot of people are thinking about the school openings,” he added.
Trump later referenced the call during the daily coronavirus press briefing.
“Not a long way to go in the school system right now… for this year. But I think you’ll see a lot of schools open up, even if it’s for a very short period of time,” he told reporters. “I think it would be a good thing. Because as you see, in terms of what this vicious virus goes after, young people seem to do very well. Young people seem to do very well. So, I know there are some governors that aren’t necessarily ready to open up their states but they may be ready to open up their school systems.”
The president’s comments directly contradict White House guidelines on school reopenings.
“State and local officials may need to tailor the application of these criteria to local circumstances (e.g., metropolitan areas that have suffered severe COVID outbreaks, rural and suburban areas where outbreaks have not occurred or have been mild). Additionally, where appropriate, Governors should work on a regional basis to satisfy these criteria and to progress through the phases outlined below,” reads the White House website.