FACT SHEET: As the School Year Begins, Trump Gambles With Children’s Health and Safety

Trump has failed to combat the coronavirus, and as a result, millions of kids can’t safely go back to school this fall. Instead of listening to the experts or providing solutions, Trump is making things worse by gambling with the health of children, teachers, school staff, and their families by demanding schools fully reopen without ensuring that it can be done safely. Parents across the country are already worried about the impacts of this pandemic and many of them are struggling to make ends meet. Now they have to worry that Trump is putting the safety of their kids at risk too.

Trump has no plan to allow kids to return to school safely and he lied that children are immune to the virus. 

  • Trump demanded that schools fully reopen in the fall, lashed out at the CDC’s guidelines, and even threatened to withhold federal funding, but offered little guidance to help schools reopen safely.

  • After abandoning negotiations with Democrats for more coronavirus relief, Trump instead signed executive orders that provided no funds whatsoever for schools or funding for state and local governments that are being forced to lay off teachers.

  • Trump and Betsy DeVos have claimed children are virtually immune to the coronavirus, but cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have increased at a faster rate in children and teenagers than among the general public.

Health experts, teachers, pediatricians, and the public oppose Trump’s demand to unsafely reopen schools and his threat to cut funding to those that don’t reopen.

  • Pediatricians, educators and superintendents said that Trump’s threat to withhold funding from schools that do not fully reopen is “misguided” and would threaten the health of students and teachers.

  • By more than a 2-to-1 margin, voters disapprove of the way Trump is handling the reopening of schools and 65 percent of voters rejected his threat to cut federal funding for schools that don’t reopen.

Trump’s failed leadership is directly responsible for the coronavirus crisis getting out of control. 

  • Because of Trump’s failed coronavirus response, almost 185,000 Americans have lost their lives, over 16 million are out of a job, and families are struggling to make ends meet.

  • Trump was slow to listen to medical experts and take the virus seriously. And even as more and more cases are reported, he continues to downplay the virus’s threat and claims it will just go away.

  • Trump ignored warnings and unsafely rushed states to reopen without a plan, which led to a surge in new cases across the country, forcing many states to shut down again.

  • Trump has resisted urging Americans to wear masks and continues to mislead the public on the severity of the crisis, all while refusing to ramp up testing and even suggesting we need to slow testing down.