COVID-19: Barron Trump's school banned from in-person learning until October as Donald Trump pushes reopenings

Barron, Donald, and Melania Trump.
Barron, Donald, and Melania Trump. Photo credit: Getty Images

The school Donald Trump's son attends won't return for in-person classes until October, despite the President's repeated threats to cut funding to schools that remain shut.

Barron Trump attends St Andrew's Episcopal School, a private school in Potomac, Maryland, part of Montgomery County.

Montgomery County health officer Dr Travis Gayles said on Friday (local time) all non-public schools must stay closed for in-person teaching until October 1. He added he'd based decisions "on science and data" and believes at this point in-person learning isn't safe for students or teachers.

"We have seen increases in transmission rates for COVID-19 in the State of Maryland, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Virginia, particularly in younger age groups, and this step is necessary to protect the health and safety of Montgomery County residents."

Maryland has recorded almost 90,000 cases and over 3500 deaths. Of this, over 8300 people aged 19 years or younger have tested positive for the virus.

Dr Gayles said anyone found to have knowingly and willfully violated his order could spend up to one year in prison or receive a $5000 fine.

Trump said in July he might cut funding to any states or school districts that disobey his order to return to in-person learning when the US' academic year begins in September.

"The [Democrats] think it would be bad for them politically if US schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children and families. May cut off funding if not open!" he tweeted.

He also urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to relax its guidelines for safely reopening schools, presumably because some schools may not be able to meet the regulations made to keep students, staff and teachers safe.

"While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them."

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan - a Republican who has criticised Trump in the past for his response to COVID-19 - tweeted on Saturday (local time) he "strongly disagreed" with Montgomery County's decision to mandate the closure of private and parochial schools.

"As long as these schools develop safe plans that follow CDC and state guidelines, they should be empowered to do what's best for their community. This is a decision for schools and parents, not politicians."

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