Trump Threatens School Funding Over Reopening

He slams 'impractical' CDC guidelines
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2020 3:17 PM CDT
Trump Slams 'Impractical' CDC School Reopening Guidelines
Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, and Adm. Brett Giroir, head of the US Public Health Service, listen as Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing. Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be issuing revised guidelines on reopening schools—hours after President Trump slammed the CDC's current guidance, which includes mask-wearing and social distancing, as "very tough & expensive." "While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!" the president tweeted. Trump, who said Tuesday that his administration will pressure governors to reopen schools, also threatened to cut off school funding and again accused Democrats of wanting to keep schools closed for political reasons, the New York Times reports. Schools in Germany, Sweden, and elsewhere "ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS," he tweeted.

At Wednesday's briefing, Pence said the revised guidelines would provide "more clarity," the Washington Post reports. He was joined by CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, who said it would be "disappointing" if "we saw that individuals were using these guidelines as a rationale for not reopening our schools." Pence suggested future coronavirus relief bills could be tied to reopening schools, saying the administration is looking for "ways to give states a strong incentive and encouragement to get kids back in school." New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state will decide when it is safe to reopen, the AP reports. "School reopenings are a state decision, period,” he told reporters. “That is the law, and that is the way we are going to proceed. It’s not up to the president of the United States.” (More coronavirus stories.)

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