President Trump vowed to pressure governors to reopen schools Tuesday, accusing Democrats of wanting to keep them closed for political reasons instead of health reasons. "We don’t want people to make political statements or do it for political reasons. They think it’s going to be good for them politically, so they keep the schools closed. No way,” Trump said at a White House event with officials from schools around the country, per the Hill. He acknowledged decisions on reopening schools during the pandemic will be up to state governors, but said his administration is "very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools, to get them open."
The start of the school year is rapidly approaching in many districts, especially in the South and West, where there has been a shift toward starting the school year in August or even late July. At Tuesday's event, Trump slammed Harvard for its plan to only allow 40% of students to return to campus, saying they "ought to be ashamed of themselves," CNN reports. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said she would also push for schools to reopen, saying keeping them closed would fail both students and taxpayers. She criticized proposals to mix reopening with remote learning, saying, "A couple of hours a week of online school is not OK. And a choice of two days per week in the classroom is not a choice at all." (Florida has ordered all schools to open five days a week in August.)