President Donald Trump has threatened to cut off funding to schools that do not follow his wishes and reopen in the coming Fall. Despite Covid-19 cases still surging in many areas of the country, President Trump also condemned the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for safely reopening schools across the country, claiming they were too ‘tough and expensive’.
74-year-old Trump, who is seeking re-election in November, took to social media to accuse Democrats of only wanting to keep schools shut for purely political reasons. This is despite the US recently surpassing 3 million coronavirus cases and the fact that, unlike in most other industrialized countries, the pandemic is showing little sign of relenting.
“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!” the 45th President of the United States tweeted this week.
No follow-up remark or statement has yet been made by the President or the White House, meaning that it is as yet unclear what federal aid Trump had in mind while devising the tweet, if any at all. Under the constitution, states are responsible for primary and secondary education and their funding, but the federal government does indeed provide some supplementary funding.
“We want to reopen the schools. Everybody wants it. The moms want it. The dads want it. The kids want it. It’s time to do it. Our mortality rate is right now at a level that people don’t talk about, but it’s down tenfold, tenfold. So you look at deaths are way down from this horrible China virus, and it’s a disgrace that had happened,” President Trump said during a press conference at the White House.
“It should not have happened, but it did. The economy is coming back, and it’s coming back strongly. Jobs are setting records. Two months ago, they set the record, and then again, almost five million new jobs last month, which is a record. It broke our last record of a month before, so things are looking good.”
Trump also took to Twitter this week to show his dissatisfaction with the CDC’s guidelines for safely reopening schools in September, claiming that the measures were too difficult and expensive to be realistically achieved. The CDC quickly responded, saying that it would listen to the President and release new, updated guidelines next week.
“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!!!” Trump tweeted.
Trump and the Republicans have been eager to get the motions in place for schools to begin reopening as usual in the Fall, as they hope this will allow many parents to return to work and help to get the economy once again running as normal.
Dr. Robert Redfield, along with other members of the White House coronavirus task force has reiterated the importance of sending kids back to school on time on many occasions, saying that failing to do so would have negative impacts on the children’s health and development.
The guidelines from the CDC, that will now be altered to better suit the desires of President Trump, encouraged the practice of good hygiene, the use of cloth face coverings and the staying home of teachers and students when appropriate. Also suggested was staggered scheduling, a backup plan for staffing, seating layouts that allowed for social distancing, the closing of communal areas and physical barriers in some situations.
“When you look at education, my administration has approved $13 billion for state and local education. We’ve approved over $6 billion to support colleges and another $6 billion in emergency grants to students, very importantly. We waived standardized testing requirements, deferred federal student loan and interest payments,” President Trump continued at the White House event.
“So you take a look at the student loan program. We’ve waived student loan and interest payments, and that is something that people haven’t been hearing about and nobody talks about, but it’s a big deal.
“We’ve pioneered new treatments that are dramatically improving the health outcomes. Vaccines are doing very well. Therapeutics are doing very well. The therapeutic research has been incredible, and I think you’re going to have a lot of big things happening long before the end of the year on both vaccines and therapeutics,” Trump continued, seemingly willing to ignore resurgences in Covid-19 cases in his bid to fully open the US economy.
“Therapeutics, I guess, is a little bit of a word we can use for on the way to a cure. But they make you better. I mean, to me, the therapeutic is even more important than the vaccine at this point, because people will get better.”