President Donald Trump said he "totally disagrees" with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease specialist, over the risk posed by the coronavirus to children and how that affects schools reopening this fall.
The president advocated for kids to go back to school before a vaccine or therapeutic treatment is widely available and suggested that Fauci, who's helping lead the administration's coronavirus response, had exaggerated the threat posed to children.
"We have to get the schools open. We have to get our country open. We have to open our country," Trump told Fox News on Wednesday. "You're having bedlam already in the streets; you can't do this. We have to get it open. I totally disagree with him on schools."
During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Fauci said officials shouldn't be "cavalier" about COVID-19's effects on children, who have generally experienced much lower rates of death and severe illness after contracting the virus.
He mentioned new cases of children contracting a deadly unknown inflammatory syndrome that's similar to Kawasaki disease and linked to COVID-19, adding that officials shouldn't assume that children will be safe from the worst effects of the virus.