White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany argued Thursday that "science is on the side" of President Trump's push to fully reopen schools this fall. McEnany cited a study in JAMA Pediatrics that found "severe illness is less frequent" in child coronavirus patients. She said it showed that COVID-19 poses "far less" risk to children than seasonal flu, the Hill reports. "The science is on our side here, and we encourage for localities and states to just simply follow the science, open our schools." McEnany said keeping schools closed is "very damaging," because "there is a lack of reporting of abuse, there's mental depressions that are not addressed, suicidal ideations that are not addressed when students are not in school."
"Our schools are extremely important, they're essential, and they must reopen," she said. McEnany also said "the science should not stand in the way" of reopening, a remark which was reported out of context by numerous outlets and then retweeted by several Democratic lawmakers, leading the Washington Examiner to accuse the press of selectively editing McEnany's remarks to "make her sound like a knuckle-dragging flat-earther." CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta notes that while studies have consistently shown that the risk of children getting very sick from the coronavirus is relatively low, how much of a role they play in community transmission of the virus is still an "open question." (Read more Kayleigh McEnany stories.)