New Research, Reports Make It Clear Trump’s Push to Reopen Schools Without a Comprehensive Safety Plan is Putting Americans at More Risk

Trump has repeatedly downplayed the threat of coronavirus to children as he pushes to reopen schools without comprehensive safety measures in place. Now, in addition to warnings from medical experts, new research and horrifying stories of young people dying make it clear that Trump is putting the lives of children, school staff, and their families at risk.

New research casts doubt on Trump’s claim that children “don’t catch” coronavirus easily or “bring it home easily.” 

New York Times: “Infected children have at least as much of the coronavirus in their noses and throats as infected adults, according to the research. Indeed, children younger than age 5 may host up to 100 times as much of the virus in the upper respiratory tract as adults, the authors found.”

New York Times: “A large new study from South Korea offers an answer: Children younger than 10 transmit to others much less often than adults do, but the risk is not zero. And those between the ages of 10 and 19 can spread the virus at least as well as adults do. The findings suggest that as schools reopen, communities will see clusters of infection take root that include children of all ages, several experts cautioned.”

And horrifying stories from across the country directly contradict Trump’s claims that young people are “almost immune” to the coronavirus. 

CNN: “A 9-year-old girl with no known underlying health conditions is the youngest person to die from coronavirus complications in Florida, officials said. Kimora “Kimmie” Lynum died on July 18 in Putnam County, according to Florida Department of Health records. It confirmed her identity and said she’s the state’s youngest coronavirus fatality.”

Los Angeles Times: “Officials announced Friday that a teenager in the Central Valley had died of causes related to COVID-19, becoming the first juvenile death from the disease in California.”

CNN: “Just weeks before schools must open across Florida, the numbers of new cases and hospitalizations due to Covid-19 have surged. On July 16, the state had a total of 23,170 children ages 17 and under who had tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Florida Department of Health. By July 24, that number jumped to 31,150. That’s a 34% increase in new cases among children in eight days. And more children in Florida are requiring hospitalization. As of July 16, 246 children had been hospitalized with coronavirus. By July 24, that number had jumped to 303. That’s a 23% increase in child Covid-19 hospitalizations in eight days.”

CBS News: “More than 200 kids test positive for coronavirus after attending Georgia summer camp”

Since Trump has yet to outline a national strategy to safely reopen schools, educators are scrambling to prevent outbreaks as teachers and parents worry about the safety of their children and families, along with their own health.  

New York Times: “Just hours into the first day of classes on Thursday, a call from the county health department notified Greenfield Central Junior High School in Indiana that a student who had walked the halls and sat in various classrooms had tested positive for the coronavirus. Administrators began an emergency protocol, isolating the student and ordering everyone who had come into close contact with the person, including other students, to quarantine for 14 days. It is unclear whether the student infected anyone else.”

Mississippi Free Press: “Teachers in the state have not shied away from voicing their concerns. One Mississippi school teacher and cancer survivor told the Mississippi Association for Educators in a survey earlier this month that she fears reopenings could jeopardize her life—or that of her 71-year-old mother who lives with her. ‘It is too dangerous for both the teachers and the students’ to reopen schools, MAE reported one Jackson County educator saying in the survey results it released on July 27. ‘Teachers should not have to risk their lives to teach.’”