As it turns out, President Donald Trump was right all along. At least about one thing, according to a liberal New York Times columnist.
Nicholas Kristof, who describes himself as a “progressive baby boomer,” admitted in his column Wednesday that Trump “was right” about pushing for schools to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Some things are true even though President Trump says them,” wrote Kristof. “Trump has been demanding for months that schools reopen, and on that he seems to have been largely right. Schools, especially elementary schools, do not appear to have been major sources of coronavirus transmission, and remote learning is proving to be a catastrophe for many low-income children.”
Dr. Tom Frieden, who served as director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under former President Barack Obama, shared Kristof’s piece Thursday, agreeing school closures “should be a last resort.”
Frieden was echoing the words written by Kristof.
“Yet America is shutting schools — New York City announced Wednesday that it was closing schools in the nation’s largest school district — even as it allows businesses like restaurants and bars to operate,” he wrote. “What are our priorities?”
Kristof argued he’s been supporting keeping schools open since May, and he is blaming Democrats for the harmful closures.
“So Democrats helped preside over school closures that have devastated millions of families and damaged children’s futures,” he wrote. “Cities such as Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., have closed schools while allowing restaurants to operate.”
He went on to reference the fact that so many schools in Europe have reopened without experiencing any major issues. He noted that in-person academic instruction in the U.S. and in Europe “have not been linked to substantial transmission” of COVID-19.
As Faithwire reported in June, the American Academy of Pediatrics said schools need to be reopened for in-person education.
“The AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school,” the organization said in a statement at the time. “The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is learned evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020.”
Kristof’s praise of Trump comes just a couple days after CNN’s Jake Tapper also praised the president for his effort to speed up vaccine development for COVID-19.
Tapper described Trump’s Operation Warp Speed — which has assisted financially with the development of two coronavirus vaccinations — as an “unmitigated success.”
“We should take a moment, as we always have when discussing vaccine and Operation Warp Speed, that this is, you know, putting aside all of the failures of the Trump administration when it comes to the coronavirus, and there are lots, this is an unmitigated success, and we should acknowledge that,” the anchor said.
He later added, “I just think it’s important that people working so hard … get credit for this and President Trump was the one who OK’d it.”
Tapper’s colleague, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN, agreed with the network host.
“The pace of medical innovation has been forever changed,” he said. “I mean, three months, Jan. 11 is when they got the sequence of this virus. By March 16, two months later, shots were going into arms as part of these clinical trials. I couldn’t believe it when I saw that pace. It typically takes, you know, years to really get these vaccines approved. It’ll be done within a year. That is worth celebrating, and now we have some early data to be very optimistic about.”