In a deep dive into why Donald Trump is hellbent on sending kids back to school as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the country, the Daily Beast reports that close friends and outside advisers to the president are calling him and questioning the move over fears about their own children.
According to the report, Trump campaign advisers are saying they have polling numbers that show getting schools up and running again appears to be a winning issue with mothers and could help the president pick up some support in the suburbs where he has been polling poorly.
However, inside the Trump administration, the abrupt decision to forge ahead over the advice of health officials in the CDC has created chaos as officials are unsure how to implement the president's demands.
According to the report, "Even among senior administration officials working with the coronavirus task force and within the Centers for Disease Control there is fear that they may incur the wrath of the president if they deviate even slightly from his push for states to open schools no matter the risk. Those fears have resulted in crosscurrent messaging over the past few days.
The report also notes that the president's decision to start tweeting about the topic caught everyone by surprise which set off turmoil on Wednesday after the president and the CDC conflicted publically on policy and a briefing was scrapped.
Behind the scenes, however, Trump is getting pushback from close friends and even one of his biggest public boosters.
"In the past several days, Trump has fielded phone calls from various friends, major donors, and prominent political supporters on his drive to reopen schools, according to three individuals with knowledge of those calls. Some of those who corresponded with the president have young children and expressed reservations about sending them back during a still-raging pandemic," the Beast reports, adding the Trump-supporting evangelical leader Robert Jeffress is among those with doubts about the president's plans.
Jeffress, on Wednesday, stated that“no one has reached out to” him from the White House and that, “our church school is carefully looking at [the] situation in Dallas—a hot spot—and currently planning for a hybrid model of in-person and virtual instruction.”
Jeffress also admitted, "Like all of us, the administration is trying to strike the balance between the need for safety and the need to resume life,” but that he feared, "going too far in either direction could have serious consequences.”
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