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July 7, 2020, 6:00 p.m. EDT

Trump presses for schools to reopen even as coronavirus cases near 3 million

‘It’s time to do it,’ president says at White House event

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By Robert Schroeder, MarketWatch

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President Donald Trump says “it’s time” to reopen U.S. schools, even with the country set to record its 3 millionth case of coronavirus.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to press for U.S. schools to reopen, even as the country was nearing a 3 millionth case of the coronavirus disease COVID-19, alongside nearly 131,000 deaths.

“We want to reopen the schools,” said Trump at a White House event. “It’s time to do it.”

Trump over the weekend — even with many states are reporting climbing hospitalization rates — said 99% of coronavirus cases were “harmless.”

Coronavirus update: U.S. COVID-19 cases climb above 2.9 million; ‘We’re still knee-deep in the first wave,’ Dr. Anthony Fauci warns

Administration officials who briefed reporters on Tuesday said the well-being of students was a key White House consideration. “Throughout this crisis, we’ve been concerned that students, particularly our most vulnerable students, have lost access to the support services they need in order to meet their child development goals and their educational attainment goals,” said one official.

Trump tweeted Monday that schools “MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” and claimed that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his party don’t want to open schools in the fall “for political reasons, not for health reasons!”

Even as Trump made his preference known, administration officials said the decision to reopen is up to local jurisdictions.

Unease over the outlook for the global economy in the midst of rising U.S. coronavirus infections helped dampen the buying mood on Wall Street /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.23%   /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.40%  on Tuesday. See Market Snapshot.

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June 14, 2021 10:38a
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Robert Schroeder is the White House reporter for MarketWatch. Follow him on Twitter @mktwrobs.

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