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Trump Promises 125 Mln Masks To Schools

trump aug13 lt

President Donald Trump announced that the government will provide 125 million reusable face masks to school districts across the country as he is pressing for reopening schools amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing an event titled "Kids First: Getting America's Children Safely Back to School" at the White House, Trump said his administration also stands ready to deploy CDC teams to support schools that need help to safely reopen.

He called on all schools in the country to make plans to resume in-person classes as soon as possible.

Trump pointed out, "More than 99.8 percent of the deaths from this horrible disease occur in people over 24 years of age."

In the opinion of the President, prolonged school closures will severely limit economic reopening, because it limits the ability of parents to work, particularly those from lower- and middle-income families.

The government issued a set of general recommendations for all schools and guidance to protect high-risk teachers and students from coronavirus. They include the following: Require all students, teachers, and staff to self-assess their health every morning before coming to school; Encourage frequent hand washing or hand sanitizing during the school day; Minimize large indoor gatherings; Hold large gatherings outdoors whenever possible; Maintain high standards of hygiene and ventilation within the classrooms; Encourage the use of masks when social distancing is not possible; Post instructions regarding hygiene and social distancing in school premises.

High-risk teachers and students will be given options to engage in distance teaching or learning.

"We cannot indefinitely stop 50 million American children from going to school and harming their mental, physical, emotional, and academic development, and inflicting long-term, lasting damage," he said in discussion with parents, teachers and doctors.

Trump said school closures harm low-income students the most because they have less access to high-quality remote learning — they don't have computers — and less resources for academic support.

Studies estimate that school closures last spring caused the average student to fall 50 percent behind in math and roughly 35 percent in reading compared to a typical year, according to Trump.

To support the reopening of America's schools, the government had already provided $13 billion for elementary and secondary schools toward the CARES Act and CARES Act funding.

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