As of late, there has been much discussion surrounding the reopening of schools in the fall amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While President Donald Trump has been vocal about wanting schools to open, others are more critical of the action given that coronavirus cases are rising in several parts of the country. Despite these coronavirus concerns, Bill Gates has spoken out on the topic, and, just like Trump, he believes that schools should reopen in the fall.
On Tuesday, Gates appeared on CNBC's Squawk Box to discuss this matter, per the Daily Mail. During the interview, he shared that the benefits of children going to school in the fall "outweigh the costs." He said, 'I'm a big believer that for young children, the benefits in almost every location — particularly if you can protect the teachers well — the benefits outweigh the costs." Gates added that there is a less pressing need for older students to return to in-person learning, explaining, "As you get up to age, like, 13 and higher, then you'll have to look at your locale to decide what you'll do with high schools. And if they're not in, then you have to put massive effort into trying to get there to be continued learning online."
It's quite interesting to hear this viewpoint from Gates, especially given that he has been a major advocate for coronavirus safety measures. The Gates Foundation has even contributed millions to help develop a coronavirus vaccine. "Our foundation has revamped our education work to really jump in and help get those capabilities up,' Gates also shared on Tuesday. "Make sure that minority and low-income students aren't suffering the most throughout all of this."
Gates' comments come as Trump and his administration have been pushing for schools to reopen in the fall, despite the fact that the United States still does not have the coronavirus pandemic under control in many areas of the country. On July 6, the president even tweeted in all caps, "Schools must open in the fall!!!" However, when it comes to Democrats, they're not exactly on board with this move. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told CNN on July 12, "The president and his administration are messing with the health of our children. We all want our children to go back to school, parents do and children do. But they must go back safely."