A student from Minneapolis was among those to ask President Donald Trump a question during his virtual town hall Sunday night.
Rebekah Johnson, who said she is going to be a freshman in high school next year, asked the president: “I worry that coronavirus is going to come back. How will I feel safe going back to school if a second wave hits?”
Johnson’s question came after Kristen Murray, a teacher from Virginia, asked what the president’s ideas are for getting teachers back in classrooms with their students. Trump answered both questions at once, as was directed by the Fox News town hall hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum.
Trump said students and younger teachers are "going to be in great shape," adding they may have to wear masks "for a while and they may be separated further than what they’re used to,' but stressed that we "have to get our schools back."
The president said he does worry about older teachers and those who have underlying health conditions, saying "I think they’re going to have to sit it out for a little while" or wait until "this thing passes."
When the moderators asked if Trump was going to urge schools and universities to go back in September, he said he would.
"I am. I want them to go back. We have to get our country back," Trump said, "I don't want to do this forever."
Public schools in Minnesota have been closed since late March, with students and teachers using distance learning to continue their classwork. This hasn't always been easy as districts have had to work to overcome technology and attendance issues, and parents have grown frustrated with trying to help their children.
On April 23, Gov. Tim Walz extended the closure of school buildings through the end of the school year.
Walz has not said what the plan is for schools for the 2020-2021 school year, but some universities and schools in the United States have started making plans for what next fall could look like depending on the status of the pandemic, with a growing number of colleges saying they intend to open in the fall.
Experts have said the coronavirus could hit the state, and elsewhere, in waves or could peak again in the fall and winter, but the course the virus could take is still highly unpredictable.