Donald Trump punts on advising Florida on school re-openings
Can Donald Trump escape blame for the virus, weak economy? Image via AP.

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The President won't direct governors on school re-openings.

In Friday’s White House Coronavirus Task Force press conference, President Donald Trump demurred when asked whether Florida should reopen schools.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Trump loyalist, has expressed hope schools could open for in-person instruction later in the spring.

“I have a lot of confidence in Ron DeSantis, a lot of faith in Ron DeSantis to make the right decision,” Trump said Friday.

“He’s done a great job as Governor.”

“I have read where DeSantis was thinking about opening up the schools earlier than …,” Trump said, making a hand gesture, “the date, the end of the month.”

“I’d have to look at the numbers,” Trump said, indicating a preference for “not overruling” Governors “from a Constitutional standpoint.”

“I’d rather have them make their own decisions … he’s made a lot of good decisions,” Trump said, again stressing that DeSantis is “just thinking about” reopening schools earlier than May.

On Thursday in Tallahassee, the Governor gave some insight into that thought process.

“If it’s safe, we want kids to be in school. I think most parents want that,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis also noted that different guidance may apply in different parts of the state.

“It may be that not every county’s going to be treated the same in this,” DeSantis said. “There’s nothing wrong with that. If the problem is different in certain parts, then we should recognize that. “

However, the Governor seemed to have a more optimistic read on the situation than facts warranted, as evidenced by his faulty assertion that COVID-19 “just doesn’t seem to threaten kids.”

After Florida Politics asked him about children who have died nationally due to the novel coronavirus, DeSantis was quick to reframe Thursday’s statement.

“Not in Florida,” the Governor said, had anyone under the age of 25 died from COVID-19.

However, the underlying sentiment was disputed by a member of Trump‘sCoronavirus Task Force Friday.

“Yes, people under 25 have died of coronavirus disease in the United States of America,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infections disease expert, said.

DeSantis has sought guidance from the White House throughout this crisis, including issuing one of the later stay-at-home orders in the country only after seemingly having been given the go-ahead from the Surgeon General.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • FactsNotPolitics

    April 10, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    Gancarski, is an uninformed wannabe journalist, and as such, he can’t help but take shots at Trump and DeSantes.

    The President has no legal power to “tell” any State what to do in this case.

    Saying that DeSantes looks to the Feds for guidance is true, but in this case, and most others, he doesn’t have to abide by that guidance.

    Making Pres. Trump look as if he is “punting” on the subject, implies that he has no answer.

    Unfortunately, that is true. There is more knowledge about what is happening on the ground, in the local area.

    This writer shows his bias and ignorance, when he tries to made these two people look as if they don’t know what they are doing. The truth is, no one has a crystal ball, and different areas will get beyond the pandemic at different times.

    Perhaps this writer, should share with the rest of us, his wisdom on when, where, how, etc., that he would handle this virus and re-open the schools, businesses, etc.

    Politics should not be part of the answer or the question, but unfortunately, that is exactly what the article’s writer and too many politicians on the left are doing.

  • Pedro

    April 10, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    DeSantes and Trump are total idiots that couldn’t cross a street properly nevermind tellings us when we should trust our families to their idiotic meanderings about this national and global pandemic. Hell Trump surely wouldn’t even be able to spell pandemic, it has too many syllables for him to comprehend.

    • Frankie M.

      April 10, 2020 at 7:29 pm

      But he can spell hydroxychloroquine?? Weird.

  • Lisa Martell

    April 10, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    Agreed that Trump can’t order anyone back to school. Agreed that there is no crystal ball when wondering what to do.
    DeSantis is weak. Perhaps irrational and maybe even stupid. He is not the Crisis Mgr we so desperately need at this time. Of course he’s looking to Trump for guidance. He definitely “got the memo” from Trump with regard to the handling of the crisis. They are bff’s in a sense and the Gov could, get anything we need to handle this virus. But, he is listening to the worst possible person and is either breathtakingly ignorant or uninterested in data driven facts from all over the world and here in the US. He has no idea what Florida and all of the other states are trying to deal with. This is biblical. Politics is always with us and you would think that, at this time,it’s a non-issue. Not all of the “chatter” is from the left. Some of the very influential ppl who Trump “listens to” are folks like Lindsay Graham,very conservative WSJ and others… telling him to put on the brakes. Senator Graham has advised (in public) that Trump is no longer running against Biden. He’s running against covid-19. There are also millions of ppl all over the state and country have more than half a brain and with that brain, combined with science and the reality on the ground, can see what is really happening. Someone posted, what to do? TESTING, TESTING, TESTING. No rational person, especially decision makers should reject this. How can we possibly open the economy even in a small way, unless we know what’s out there. Decisions and game plans moving forward should be based on what the virus tells us. As for Florida, the virus is now present in ALL 67 counties now. Getting bigger and more deadly each day. What say we avoid a second wave of virus? Don’t need a crystal ball for that.

    For those who are even remotely interested, have a look at the provided link. This is all of the daily pubished data from Florida DOH. A lot of data in here. Bottom line #’s in addition to a massive amount of data. Check out the PDF as well. More data than you can imagine. Presented in a very user friendly way so “regular” ppl like us can digest it.
    Scan down the page and checkout the dashboard as well as the daily report.

    As with many other states, the confirmed cases and deaths are not accurate and testing in Florida has been about 0.5% our population. States get to decide what to make available to the public. I believe that Florida and other states have no clue what’s out there. Terrifying.
    One last thing… TESTING, TESTING, TESTING!

  • Frankie M.

    April 10, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    AG is a credit to his profession and one helluva model American. Don’t get all butthurt because you don’t like the questions he asks. Journalists aren’t cheerleaders. That’s what Faux news is for.

  • Sonja Fitch

    April 11, 2020 at 5:34 am

    Desantis has blood all over his being!! Recall Desantis now!

  • Arl

    April 11, 2020 at 8:40 am

    The key sentence is Trump has to check his numbers – his poll numbers, not that of the medical science community.

Comments are closed.


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