“Fox and Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade did not receive the response he expected while speaking to a trio of students about their experiences with virtual learning during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It all began after Kilmeade asked sixth-grader Mason Seder, who attends school in Philadelphia, what he misses the most about not being in school.
“I miss, most obviously, seeing my friends and all the after-school activities that I have done. And I think that we’re very, very close getting back to school,” Seder said, praising his teachers for the way they’ve responded to the crisis.
“And I think that the way that our new president is handling things is a very good way and we would not have gone to this if it were still the last president,” Seder added, pointing to former President Donald Trump’s botched response to the pandemic.
Kilmeade then launched into a defense of Trump. “Really?” he asked. “That’s hard to believe because the last president was saying I want every kid back in school.”
Brian Kilmeade to a 6th grader who said he doubted if Trump could handle reopening well: "Really? That's hard to believe. Because the last president was saying I want every kid back in school." pic.twitter.com/5USXBhAnBU
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) May 5, 2021
Kilmeade’s remark that Trump wanted “every kid back in school” is misleading. While the former president often stressed that schools should be open, he did so against the advice of medical professionals and public health experts at a time when researchers still didn’t know a lot about the novel coronavirus, the virus that causes Covid-19.
For example, in July, Trump said he would “pressure” governors to reopen schools amid the coronavirus pandemic. The former president suggested, without evidence, areas that support closures are doing so for “political reasons.”
“They think it’s going to be good for them politically, so they keep the schools closed,” he said. “No way. We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools, to get them open.”
Trump also publicly disagreed with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines for reopening schools, calling them “tough and expensive.”
His statements prompted four former CDC heads to condemn his actions in an op-ed published in The Washington Post.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.