In a clip from an appearance set to air Thursday on Fox News, President Donald Trump said he disagrees with Dr. Anthony Fauci on the topic of reopening American schools amid the coronavirus pandemic, Raw Story reported.
"Anthony is a good person, a very good person. I've disagreed with him. I think that we have to open our schools … I totally disagree with him on schools," Trump said to host Maria Bartiromo.
As Raw Story noted, Fauci did not specifically address school closures and reopenings during his Tuesday testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. Instead, Fauci warned the prematurely opening the U.S. economy would cause unnecessary suffering and death. However, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul took aim at Fauci's opposition to reopening the economy and expressed his belief that children who cannot return to school and do not have the benefit of homeschooling will disproportionately suffer.
Speaking to Bartiromo, Trump suggested that states reopening must open schools.
"I think you should absolutely open the schools," Trump said.
As reported by CNN, Fauci used his Tuesday testimony to express concern that some areas of the country may prematurely open without having met adequate checkpoints and developing appropriate mitigation measures to prevent a resurgence of the virus.
"There is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control, which in fact, paradoxically, will set you back, not only leading to some suffering and death that could be avoided but could even set you back on the road to try to get economic recovery."Although The Intercept suggested that coronavirus deaths are disproportionately older adults — at least 65 — the publication indicates that there is a significant undercount of children with the infectious disease. According to the CovKid project, more than 24,000 children have tested positive for the virus, and as of April 30, and there are 20 deaths from coronavirus in children and teens across eight states. In terms of demographics, over one-third of 3,049 children with the virus in California and Illinois were Latino. Nevertheless, Elizabeth Pathak, an epidemiologist and director of the CovKid project, claims that the number of children with the infection is likely higher due to the testing kit shortage and limited testing of children.
Although CNN reports that Fauci has been viewed as one of the most credible experts amid the COVID-19 crisis, he has faced scrutiny from Republicans that believe he is operating from a partisan standpoint. Others, including Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, have pushed back against such suggestions and pointed to his long history as a public health expert for both Democratic and Republican administrations.