President Donald Trump invoked his son Barron’s COVID-19 diagnosis at a rally on Wednesday night, arguing that the fact that the teenager got the illness and had no symptoms makes a case for reopening schools for in-person learning.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, on Wednesday, first lady Melania Trump confirmed that after she and her husband tested positive for the coronavirus, their 14-year-old son also had the same diagnosis. He had no symptoms.
Speaking to a crowd of supporters in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday night, the president used that information to renew his appeal to get children back into school, as The Hill reported.
“Barron Trump, he had the corona-19. He had the China virus, right? And he had it for such a short period of time. I don’t even think he knew he had it because they’re young and their immune systems are strong and they fight it off 99.9%. And Barron is beautiful, and he’s free, free,” he said.
“It happens. People have it, and it goes. Get the kids back to school. We’ve got to get them back to school.”
Trump has continuously pushed for schools across the country to reopen for in-person learning, at one point even having threatened to withhold federal funding from schools that don’t do so, claiming that children and teenagers are “almost immune” from the virus.
Though people under the age of 18 are extremely unlikely to suffer complications from the pathogen, some have gotten sick from the virus. Further, they can be carriers of the coronavirus, bringing it home to their families. Having children in school could also put the adults who interact with them at risk.
Across the country, school districts’ responses to the pandemic have varied. Some have fully reopened for in-person education, five days per week, while others have opted exclusively for virtual instruction, and others still having enacted some hybrid of the two methods.
As for Barron, his school, St. Andrew’s Episcopal, began the school year with kids attending class via distance learning, with a view toward transitioning to a hybrid model later in the academic year. Specifically, half of the kids in Barron’s age group would be studying from home for a week while the other half was in school, switching the next week, and so forth.
Also, at the rally, the president spoke of his own battle with the coronavirus.
“It’s a little tough. You have a temperature, and you don’t feel good.”