President of the United States Donald Trump said that the governments of the different states should “seriously consider” reopening public schools before the end of the school year, in June, despite the fact that dozens of them have already said that it would not be safe for students due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump commented during a video call with governors last night to discuss ways to lift restrictions on productive movements and activities and reopen their economies, among other issues, the White House reported.
“Some of you should start thinking about opening schools because a lot of people want schools to open up. It’s not a big issue, the kids have responded very well in this mess we’ve all been through,” Trump said.
Addressing Vice President Mike Pence, the president added that this is something “that (the governors) can seriously consider, and perhaps implement it,” CNN reported.
Trump’s remarks came as the country’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention is working to finalize guidelines to revive the U.S. economy, largely paralyzed by the coronavirus.
Reopening schools is key to being able to relaunch the economy because, without a safe place to leave the kids, many parents would have difficulty getting back to work.
But education officials say that reopening the schools could bring many damages and few benefits, especially since the end of classes is already approaching, and it would be better for the children not to return to class until after the summer, only in September.
Trump admitted that there are only weeks to go until the end of the school year yesterday during his daily press conference on the coronavirus, although he also pointed out that despite that many states were thinking of resuming classes.
Dozens of states have already decided to keep schools closed until the start of the next school year, in September.
In response to Trump’s comments, the American Federation of Teachers union, one of the largest in the country, said there is still a lot of work to be done before schools can safely open.
The United States is by far the country most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 988,000 cases and more than 56,000 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University database.