Donald Trump has suggested that keeping schools closed could cost more lives than reopening them, despite the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic’s mounting death toll.
Trump said “a permanent shutdown was never the strategy, which would ultimately lead to greater mortality and irreversible harm.”
Though he didn’t offer any evidence to support the claim that keeping schools closed would lead to a higher mortality rate, it’s consistent with his claims about the cure not being worse than the disease.
“Reopening our schools is also critical to ensuring that parents can go to work and provide for their families,” he said.
“It’s a tremendous problem. It’s a tremendous problem. Schools have to open safely.”
The President called teachers “essential workers” – a classification that other countries fighting the virus have not considered appropriate. He also said “every district should be actively making preparations to open.”
In stark contrast to his rhetoric on school reopening, Trump cancelled the Florida portion of the Republican National Convention on Thursday, citing a flare up of the virus.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media