Ignore the order, keep students safe
President Donald Trump, who assured us that the COVID-19 pandemic would one day just “disappear,” who wanted to lift stay-at-home restrictions and re-open the economy by Easter Sunday, who doses himself with hydroxychloroquine because he thinks its will prevent or cure COVID-19 (scientific studies show it doesn’t) and suggested that ingesting or injecting disinfectant and/or bleach would be a possible treatment for the disease (it would poison the patient), is now demanding that schools across the country re-open as usual this fall, and criticized the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines for reopening schools as too tough and too expensive. Those schools that don’t reopen, he suggests, will lose federal funding.
We think governors across the country are in a much better position to make that decision for their states. They are already, as in Minnesota, reviewing different scenarios involving infection rates, school facilities and safety procedures, to decide whether students would be safest staying home, going back to school, or a combination of both.
We don’t know what’s behind Trump’s demand that students all go back to school this fall, except maybe because that’s when school normally starts, and he wants things back to normal before the election in November. It could be he wants kids back in school, their parents back to work, and the economy back to booming by election day.
When it comes to keeping children safe as they return to school, we trust the CDC’s expertise more than the president’s.