Trump calls Fauci’s advice “not an acceptable answer,” says schools should “absolutely” reopen
Donald Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci are having yet another clash. Fauci has been the face of the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic, often drawing criticism from the GOP and Trump in particular for his careful, science-based approach to keeping the country closed and saving lives. In a recent call with a handful of state governors, Trump criticized Fauci again, and openly disagreed with him about keeping U.S. schools closed to protect children and slow the coronavirus’s spread.
“I was surprised by his answer actually because, you know, to me it’s not an acceptable answer especially when it comes to schools,” Trump told North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis at the White House this week. “He wants to play all sides of the equation.”
President Trump today reprimanded Dr. Fauci after the nation’s foremost infectious-diseases expert urged caution when it comes to reopening schools amid the coronavirus pandemic.
— POLITICO (@politico) May 14, 2020
Later in the conversation, Trump emphasized that he wants schools to open as soon as possible, against Dr. Fauci’s advice.
“I think they should open the schools, absolutely,” he said. “Our country has to get back and it has to get back as soon as possible and I don’t consider our country coming back if the schools are closed.”
This comes after Dr. Fauci, who is currently in quarantine after being exposed to the virus by a White House staffer, testified before Congress about the very real dangers that come with opening the country too soon.
“My concern, that if some areas, city, states or what have you jump over those various checkpoints and prematurely open up without having the capability of being able to respond effectively and efficiently, my concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks,” he said. “We just have to see on a step-by-step basis as we get into the period of time with the fall about reopening the schools, exactly where we will be in the dynamics of the outbreak.”
Of course, that isn’t what Trump or Republican lawmakers want to hear. They’ve consistently treated the pandemic as if it’s over, even as case numbers and deaths continue to rise in the U.S. This is only further proof that they’re willing to sacrifice real American lives in order to protect the economy — even the lives of children in crowded schools where the virus will spread easily.
To justify this, Trump added, “Will something happen? Perhaps. But you can be driving to school and something can happen too.”