Trump demands schools to reopen for fall semester while his approval rates decline

Gov. Doug Ducey has lower approval rating than President Trump in Arizona


The White House (Flickr)

President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks during a press conference Friday, Jan. 3, 2020,

Ivana Venema-Nunez, Reporter

Scientists have two sets of concerns when it comes to schools reopening.  They do not know to what degree children spread COVID-19 and they recognize that teachers are more vulnerable because of their age.  These concerns raise legitimate questions for instructors and staff who are currently considering a return to work where keeping a social distance of six feet is nearly impossible. 

On Wednesday, President Trump threatened on Twitter to cut federal funding for school districts that don’t reopen for the fall semester and calls the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines “very tough & expensive guidelines,” that ask schools to do “very impractical things”.

The twitter threads shared by Trump have created debate with educators and parents who are on the front lines of trying to re-opening schools in a safe manner.  They are seeking to develop plans that follow CDC guidelines, but the recent resurgence of coronavirus cases across many parts of the United States and world are cause for concern. 

Trump expressed no concern about the health implications of reopening classrooms and no support for alternative plans that many districts are considering, according to a New York Times article

Remarks by President Trump on Safely Reopening Americas’s Schools were published on July 7.  Within those remarks, he said that in speaking with the governor of New Jersey, he found out that there was only one recorded death in that state of a person under the age of 18.  Something the president called “a pretty amazing stat, when you think of it.”  Trump also concede that COVID-19 is a horrible disease, but said that “young people do extraordinarily well”.

He did not address how teachers and administrators, many of whom are above the age of 18, do with the disease.

The CDC guidelines provided to schools regarding in-person classes recommend frequent hand washing, staying home when sick, and consistently cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.  The CDC recommendations also stress the concept that the longer that students or staff members interact with each other, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading, according to the CDC website on Consideration for Schools.

 There has been little evidence that schools reopening in Europe have made the spread of COVID-19 worst, but those countries took steps such as wearing masks, reducing class sizes and keeping children in small groups at recess and lunchtime — measures that Trump is resisting, according to the New York Times.

This happens as approval ratings for both President Trump and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey are slumping.

A report published by entitled “The State of the Nation: A 50-State COVID-19 Survey” shows data from a national survey conducted in late June.  The report states that samples were taken from all 50 states and 22,501 individuals established a nearly nationwide pattern of declining executive support.

According to the report, at the beginning of April, Trump had a relatively low approval rating that has declined another 8% on average.   On the other hand, it states that the average approval ratings for governors experienced a 10-point decline during the two month period from late April to late June. 

The statistics show that only Ducey, out of all 50 U.S. Governors,  has “an approval rating in their state lower than that of the president.”

Ducey also has the lowest approval rating of any governor in the country for his COVID-19 response , dropping from a high of 57% in early May to 32% in late June, according to the report.