President Donald Trump on Sunday called for schools that closed this spring due to the coronavirus to reopen as soon as possible.
“Schools in our country should be opened ASAP,” Trump tweeted.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 25, 2020
In the tweet, the president tagged Steve Hilton of Fox News, who spoke about reopening schools on his program “The Next Revolution.”
“There won’t be a recovery unless we open schools now,” Hilton said, according to Fox News.
“If children can’t go to school, parents can’t go to work,” he said.
“We’re told schools must be closed to keep kids safe. But they’re not in danger,” Hilton said, citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data showing that 0.02 percent of coronavirus cases are in children under the age of 14.
The Fox News host accused the “media misinformation machine” of “fear-mongering” about a disease that impacts children who have tested positive for the virus.
“We’re talking about a handful of cases which are almost always treatable,” he said. “How offensive to try to frighten parents about the safety of their children.”
Noting that some raise the concern that children will infect adults, Hilton said children do not transmit the disease at the same rate as adults transmit it to others and that this is supported by extensive data for other nations.
“The mental health toll on children grows by the day, as does the loss of learning, all of it hurting the poorest areas most, especially those in remote parts of the country with unreliable internet,” he said.
Hilton said any leader not planning on reopening schools immediately is a “data denier and a science denier.”
Hilton then came to his bottom line.
“Get on with it and reopen schools now before you do even more needless damage,” he said.
Hilton teed off on what he called “stupid regulations” that need to go once America reopens.
While allowing that wearing masks might be necessary, he criticized the “unscientific nonsense” of temperature checks as “totally pointless.”
He also ridiculed what he called “completely arbitrary” social distancing rules.
“Only one or two people allowed in an elevator at one time — good luck trying to reopen New York like that, or any downtown business district, frankly,” he said.
“This over-prescriptive regulation is typical of the infantilizing mindset of our technocratic ruling elite,” Hilton said.
Some on Twitter pushed back against Trump.
Are you going to take responsibility for every child who dies. Donald?
And how many deaths are acceptable to you?
— David Cay Johnston (@DavidCayJ) May 25, 2020
My sister is a school teacher at a charter school in NY. I am petrified for her, her colleagues and the children. Then just to think that folks go home and may infect others
— Brooke Jones (@BrookeJ27540191) May 25, 2020
Why? School’s out for the summer in two weeks. Why must they suddenly be opened in the middle of a pandemic?
— Tami Burages (@tburages) May 25, 2020
The CDC has issued its guidance for reopening schools in the fall but has suggested they remain closed for now.
The agency’s 60 pages of instructions call for having desks at least 6 feet apart and facing the same direction, lunch in classrooms, staggered arrival times, cloth masks for staff and daily temperature screenings for everyone.
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