President Donald Trump, seeking to force school districts and universities to reopen despite the coronavirus, yesterday said the US treasury department would re-examine their tax-exempt status and funding.
Trump already has threatened to cut their federal funding and sought to eject university students from abroad.
“Too many universities and school systems are about radical left indoctrination, not education,” the Republican Trump wrote in a tweet yesterday likely to sit well with his conservative base.
He accuses Democrats of exploiting the pandemic for political purposes by refusing to reopen schools and businesses, even as health experts caution against the perils of easing restrictions too quickly.
“Therefore, I am telling the Treasury Department to re-examine their tax-exempt status and/or funding, which will be taken away if this propaganda or act against public policy continues. Our children must be educated, not indoctrinated!”
Trump’s administration is pushing schools to relaunch in-person classes even as cases of the novel coronavirus surge in some of the country’s most populous areas, prompting some to roll back their plans to relax restrictions.
School administrators are weighing the risk to opening up their buildings to primary and secondary students and staff as US cases have topped 3mn this week.
Some universities have announced online-only instruction plans, while others weigh options such as school calendar changes.
Trump this week threatened to cut off federal funds for schools that do not open their doors.
Meanwhile, a campaign rally for Trump set for today in New Hampshire has been postponed by a “week or two” because of a tropical storm off the East Coast, White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany told reporters yesterday.
Tropical Storm Fay was expected to sweep across the heavily populated northeastern US, bringing moderate to heavy rains and the potential for some flooding, the National Weather Service said.
The storm is expected to bring rain and gusty winds to southern New Hampshire early today, but will have moved out of the area by the afternoon, National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Peterson said.
A forecast posted on weather.com predicted an 8% to 15% chance of rain in Portsmouth today between 7pm and 10 pm ET; tomorrow was slated to be mostly sunny.
“The rally scheduled for today in Portsmouth, New Hampshire has been postponed for safety reasons because of Tropical Storm Fay. It will be rescheduled and a new date will be announced soon,” said Tim Murtaugh, the trump campaign’s communications director.
Trump has held a series of events recently with large crowds despite warnings from public health professionals about the dangers of big gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.
New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu, a fellow Republican, said earlier this week he planned to greet Trump at the airport but would not attend the rally because of the number of people expected.
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