Coronavirus: Trump says schools should reopen and criticises Fauci

Anthony Fauci, however, has expressed concerns about sending children back to campuses without a vaccine approved and deployed 

John T. Bennett
Washington DC
Wednesday 13 May 2020 22:57
Trump explains why he won't wear a mask

Donald Trump thinks Anthony Fauci, the widely respected infectious disease expert, is wrong to suggest it is not yet safe to reopen America’s schools due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think you should absolutely open the schools,” he told reporters on Wednesday at the White House, responding to a question about a television interview to air the next day.

“So Anthony is a very good person. I’ve disagreed with him. When I closed the border to China, he disagreed with that,” Mr Trump told Fox Business Network in an interview set to air early Thursday morning. “I think that we have to open our schools. Young people are little affected by this. We have to get the country open.”

Speaking to reporters in the Cabinet Room on Wednesday, Mr Trump offered some of his most pointed comments yet about Mr Fauci.

“He wants to play all sides of the equation,” the president said.

>Asked to clarify, Mr Trump replied: “I was surprised by his answer. ... To me, it’s not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools.”

That comes a day after Mr Fauci told a Senate committee he is hesitant to open schools without a Covid-19 vaccine available to all Americans. Some health experts say children could be so-called “super carriers” of the disease who show no symptoms but spread it to others.

“The idea of having treatments available or a vaccine to facilitate re-entry of students into the fall term would be something that would be a bit of a bridge too far,” Mr Fauci said. “The drug that has shown some degree of efficacy was modest and was in hospitalised patients.”

Mr Trump has repeatedly contradicted Mr Fauci and other members of his White House coronavirus task force, but his remark to Fox Business also puts him at odds with some GOP lawmakers.

For instance, Senate Health Committee chairman Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said at the same Tuesday hearing that he wants to see testing dramatically ramped up across the country before young children and college-aged students return to campuses.


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