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WATCH: President Trump and First Lady Lead Tuesday’s ‘National Dialogue on Safely Reopening America’s Schools’

By The 74 | July 7, 2020

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump participate in an event with students, teachers and administrators about how to safely reopen schools (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

The day after President Donald Trump tweeted “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” he joined Vice President Mike Pence, First Lady Melania Trump, Missouri Gov. Michael Parson and other officials at the White House Tuesday to lead a “dialogue on safely reopening America’s schools.” A few of the notable exchanges from the day: 

  • Highlighting falling coronavirus-related death rates, the president indicated Tuesday he would take a hard line against state or local leaders that keep schools closed this fall. “We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools,” he said. “The moms want it. The dads want it. The kids want it. It’s time to do it.”
  • The roundtable featured a principal and a student from a California Catholic school. Reopening schools “means a lot to our emotional health and our mental health just to be out there with our friends,” said student Cameron Vaughn.
  • Some speakers emphasized the extraordinary stress being endured by families after schools shuttered this past spring, as parents found themselves forced to suddenly juggle the simultaneous roles of employee, child care provider and educator. Jenny Beth Martin, a mother and co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, said thousands of parents, along with 150 doctors, 240 nurses and 300 educators, signed on to a letter calling for the reopening of schools. “Reopening schools is going to stabilize our society,” she said. “I think it’s the number one, most important thing we can do to stabilize our society from top to bottom.” 

Watch the full dialogue: 

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