COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the United States with a death toll that now exceeds 134,000 Americans and still President Trump—the man who exacerbated this pandemic by refusing to take the coronavirus seriously and failing to implement adequate testing and preparation—is desperate to convince the country that all is well ahead of the election. In recent days he’s been ranting that mortality rates are falling and now he’s fixated on school reopenings in the fall.
Understandably, educators are still unsure how best to proceed and are worried about the health of their students and themselves. Allowing children to attend school as if all is well is a recipe for disaster but there are also legitimate concerns about the effects of keeping kids at home during a crucial period of mental growth and socialization in their young lives.
A possible happy medium might be to allow students to attend classes but only under close health supervision and with the application of numerous precautions ranging from social distancing to wearing masks at all times. It’s an evolving conversation and one which Trump’s recklessness is only complicating.
This morning the president penned a shocking tweet in which he—a man with absolutely no medical training or education (and who perhaps only got into an Ivy League school by cheating)—said that he disagrees with the CDC’s “very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools.” He claimed the CDC is asking for “very impractical things” and promised to meet with them to sort it out.
It’s one thing to say that the guidelines are too “tough,” essentially implying that it will take too much work to save the lives of American schoolchildren, but to whine that they’re too “expensive” is downright ghoulish. The president is saying that it’s not worth spending more money to prevent students from getting sick and dying. As is always the case with this man, money comes first.
In reality, the CDC’s guidelines are incredibly reasonable and include staying home when appropriate, exercising proper hygiene by washing hands and covering up sneezes/coughs, wearing face coverings to prevent the spread of the disease, posting signs to encourage and educate on safe practices, and rearranging seating to ensure social distancing. Nothing in the guidelines could be accurately described as particularly “tough” or “expensive.”
Trump is pushing to needlessly endanger students out of a cynical need to project an air that all is well and that as such he deserves another four years. There is no excuse for this behavior. A president who can’t be trusted to safeguard the lives of American children is a president who has failed his most fundamental duties.
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!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 8, 2020
The aggressive school reopening push is clearly an orchestrated campaign from the White House, as the president’s barely-sentient ignoramus of a son Eric blasted out a tweet attacking Biden for siding with teachers unions and their coronavirus concerns as if that’s a bad thing. Donald Trump and his family are a threat to all of us and voting him out this November is the only way to save ourselves from the devastation he continues to wreak.
Joe Biden sides with teachers union bosses in refusing to commit to reopening schools this fall. Biden has also pledged that “no private charter school—would receive a penny of federal money.” https://t.co/6B00Ph8eVC
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) July 7, 2020
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.