With little more than a month before schools across the nation are set to begin the 20-21 school year, President Donald Trump and his allies are urging them to reopen on schedule, with few if any safety measures in place to slow the spread of the virus.
While some schools and universities have committed to going partially or fully online for the fall term, other institutions are still grappling with how to proceed.
The President has been actively encouraging them to reopen.
Now that we have witnessed it on a large scale basis, and firsthand, Virtual Learning has proven to be TERRIBLE com… https://t.co/64UOjzb3oG— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1594381273.0
The model of most schools in the United States is functionally oppositional to guidelines advised by health experts. They traditionally require as many students as possible in an indoor facility, learning, eating, and playing together. While many conservatives emphasize that children tend to be less susceptible to the virus, there are also concerns regarding the adults—teachers, faculty, custodial staff, and others—who will be put in harm's way to do their jobs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that schools teach hygiene practices and cancel gatherings like sporting events before reopening. Some schools have also decided to alternate in-person learning with virtual learning before phasing in a full five day school week.
When responding to concerns that the White House is calling for schools to reopen without putting forth a national strategy for doing so, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany's answer, for some, left a lot to be desired.
McEnany assured that, by "reopening," the President meant, "he means open in full, kids being able to attend each and every day at their schools."
"The science should not stand in the way of this."
She went on to cite Fox News commentator Dr. Scott Atlas, who asserted that "everyone else in the world" is opening schools and that the United States "is the outlier here."
The United States is also the outlier in the number of virus cases and deaths. Most countries in Europe succeeded at containing the virus and can now feasibly talk about reopening schools.
People took issue with McEnany asserting that science "should not stand in the way" of schools reopening.
@Acyn I have been re-reading "1984." There is so much more in it than most of us remember. In regard to this, Orwel… https://t.co/xiHvWxoFff— Sunny Armer (@Sunny Armer)1594928387.0
@Acyn That’s like saying we don’t want breakfast to stand in the way. Science does not stand in the way of anything… https://t.co/qLwJhOY2mf— JB “Shut it Down” (@JB “Shut it Down”)1594928739.0
@Acyn JFC, the science is the only thing standing between us & possible death or chronic, lifetime health issues. H… https://t.co/ZwJ8p2Xkua— Anne (@Anne)1594929022.0
@Acyn @Crey_tyler Science should not stand in the way of this??? So we should just ignore gravity, wind, medicine,… https://t.co/aOdWrWykzr— CAR (@CAR)1594928150.0
@Acyn I want her to fly directly into the sun. Science should not stand in the way of this.— Antifa Face Painter Michael (@Antifa Face Painter Michael)1594928498.0
@Acyn “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” -Isaac Asimov— Trump Of The Day 🌊🍄 (@Trump Of The Day 🌊🍄)1594930342.0
They also spotted the flaws in Atlas's claim that the United States is "the outlier" when it comes to reopening schools.
@Amy_Siskind Yeah, we're the outlier here. That's right, Kayleigh. We're the outlier. We're the epicenter of si… https://t.co/MPd2eHQTlq— John Ingram (@John Ingram)1594930351.0
@JoyceWhiteVance "We are the outlier here." Why yes, yes we are, Kayleigh. And if by that you mean we have 100s of… https://t.co/7czDjido6p— Trace E. 🇺🇸✝️🏳️🌈 (@Trace E. 🇺🇸✝️🏳️🌈)1594928353.0
@RadioFreeTom @jaketapper I think the bigger take away is she says we are the outlier of our western peers with stu… https://t.co/HbxOnSOyhb— KwearingamaskisnotoppressionM (@KwearingamaskisnotoppressionM)1594931142.0
@washingtonpost We’re the outlier alright, Kayleigh https://t.co/FL67Il0Tgm— Mike Sullivan ✊ (@Mike Sullivan ✊)1594928074.0
The United States has surpassed 3.5 million cases of the virus.