White House To Issue School Opening Guidelines

President Trump warns he will withhold funding if schools don't open in the fall; experts express serious concerns over safety. NBC's Alice Barr reports.

(NBC News) — With coronavirus cases surging in hotspots around the nation and many hospitals at or near capacity, health officials are urging Americans to follow safety precautions to stop the spread.

At the same time, a different message is coming from the White House.

“We believe the takeaway from this for every American, particularly in those states that are impacted, is keep doing what you’re doing,” Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday.

The Trump administration is continuing its pressure campaign to reopen schools.

The White House is planning to issue its own reopening guidelines for schools after President Trump openly attacked a blueprint from the Centers for Disease Control as “very tough and expensive.

Mr. Trump went on to threaten to withhold funding from schools that don’t fully reopen.

Research shows children are less likely to fall seriously ill from COVID-19, but schools need adults too, and teachers unions are warning of real fears.

“You’re going to have a lot of teachers either take a leave of absence or ask for reasonable accommodations or just quit,” warns Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.

Ron Klain, a current advisor to Joe Biden and President Obama’s former Ebola Czar, says the Trump is laying down orders without providing help.

“Now we’re going to tell them to buy their own PPE to teach, they have to buy their own sanitizers, they have to buy their own deep cleaning supplies for their classrooms. This is the kind of thing that the federal government, Washington should lead on,” Klain says.

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