Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday to issue a demand that schools reopen in the fall, but critics pointed out that the private school attended by the president’s own son has already said it will remain closed.
In a statement posted just after 8 a.m., Trump wrote that the rise in coronavirus cases across the United States is due to an increase in testing, a claim that has even been disputed by top members of his own administration. The post included a demand to reopen classes for in-person instruction, one he has made repeatedly as states grapple over whether they will be able to allow children to safely return to educational institutions.
“Cases up because of BIG Testing! Much of our Country is doing very well. Open the Schools!” Trump wrote.
But as many critics pointed out, the president is not following through on his own advice. His youngest son, Barron, will be learning virtually this fall after the private institution he attends in Maryland announced it would be prohibiting on-campus learning to start the academic year.
As CNN reported, Barron is slated to start ninth grade at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland. The county in which the institution is located announced on Friday that all private schools cannot conduct in-person learning until at least October 1.
In announcing the move, Montgomery County Health Officer Travis Gayles said the decision was made because data in the spread of coronavirus shows it is not yet safe to bring students and teachers together in a physical setting.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have based our decisions on science and data,” Gayles said in a statement. “At this point the data does not suggest that in-person instruction is safe for students or teachers. We have seen increases in transmission rates for COVID-19 in the State of Maryland, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Virginia, particularly in younger age groups, and this step is necessary to protect the health and safety of Montgomery County residents.”
While Trump has no control over the decisions of his son’s school, many critics still attacked him for demanding that other parents send their students into classrooms while not doing the same for his own child.
Send Barron to school first. Then we'll talk about sending our kids back. pic.twitter.com/5u5c0LQRQF
— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) August 3, 2020
If voting in-person is so safe, why isn’t Barron Trump attending school in-person in the fall? Why isn’t the GOP hosting an in-person convention? Why has Trump canceled the rest of his in-person rallies?
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) July 30, 2020
Others pointed out that Trump himself has canceled large group events, including the Republican National Convention, but does not seem to extend the same caution to classroom settings.