President Donald Trump dismissed the warnings of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, saying schools should reopen even as more reports of children afflicted with possible COVID-19 related illnesses emerge.
“They should open the schools, absolutely, I think they should. And it’s had very little impact on young people,” Trump told reporters. “It’s the governors’ choice, but their state is not open if the schools are not open.”
The president claimed that Dr. Fauci “wants to play all sides of the equation” and said that his warning that states that reopen early could see catastrophic effects is “not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools.” He insisted that the United States is “going to have a tremendous fourth quarter.”
You can watch footage of the president’s remarks below.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 13, 2020
In yesterday’s testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Dr. Fauci was clear.
“My concern, that if some areas, city, states or what have you jump over those various checkpoints and prematurely open up without having the capability of being able to respond effectively and efficiently, my concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreak,” he said.
Fauci, who polls say is the most trusted official on the White House’s coronavirus task force, added that “we just have to see on a step-by-step basis as we get into the period of time with the fall about reopening the schools, exactly where we will be in the dynamics of the outbreak.” He noted that because the pandemic is affecting regions differently, “it’s not going to be universally or homogeneous.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.