President Trump expressed his desire to reopen schools in the fall during a White House event on Tuesday afternoon amid surging cases of the coronavirus across the country.
Trump first praised Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for doing a “terrific job” by ordering schools to reopen in the fall. The President then added that his administration hopes that most schools in the country will open back up and that he hopes local officials won’t keep schools shuttered for “political reasons.”
On Monday, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran issued an emergency order declaring that all public schools must reopen to students in-person when the academic year begins next month.
Corcoran’s emergency order came as Florida became the state with the third-highest number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. On Tuesday, Florida reported more than 7,000 more cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases statewide to 213,794.
Corcoran wrote in the emergency order that schools not only provide sites for academic learning, but also serve as places for students to attain “nutrition, socialization, counseling and extra-curricular activities.” Florida’s education commissioner also argued that reopening schools is critical to the state’s economic success.
The President seemingly agreed with Corcoran’s sentiments during the White House event, arguing that the reopening of schools is “going to be good for them politically” and the White House plans to pressure governors into reopening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So they keep the schools closed — no way,” Trump said. “So we are very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools, to get them open, and it’s very important.”
Trump reiterated that “it’s very important for our country” for schools to be open.
“So we are going to be a lot of putting a lot of pressure on opening schools in the fall,” Trump said.
Watch Trump’s remarks below:
Trump: "We are very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools." pic.twitter.com/0XD5WksaMa
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) July 7, 2020