MISSOURI Gov. Mike Parson said schools must open and children who may become infected with COVID-19 likely won’t need to go to the hospitals but will instead recuperate at home and simply “get over it.”
Parson’s comments come despite soaring numbers across the nation, including more than 35,000 confirmed positive cases in his state.
“These kids have got to get back to school,” Governor Parson told radio host Marc Cox on KFTK in during an interview.
He continued: “They’re at the lowest risk possible. And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they’re not going to the hospitals.”
“They’re not going to have to sit in doctor’s offices. They’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it.”
Nonetheless, many states are grappling with how to safely reopen schools.
Many officials and educators are hesitant to make predictions about the fall semester, which begins in only five weeks.
“If you had asked me even two weeks ago, ‘Do you think we would be able to come back?’ I would have said, ‘Yeah,’” Assistant Superintendent Kevin Beckner at Parkway school district in suburban St. Louis told the AP.
“Today my answer is ‘I’m not sure,’ just because of how the situation has changed so quickly,” said Beckner.
Meanwhile, Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway, the Democratic candidate for governor, said on Monday the governor “has already accepted that your kids and families will be exposed to COVID-19 when schools reopen.”
Dr. Alex Garza, incident commander of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, also called the question about returning to school a “Gordian knot.”
According to the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, there are 33,094 confirmed cases of COVD-19 and 1,129 deaths statewide as of July 20.
Schools across the US are facing the same dilemma with the reopenings as pressure is mounting from President Donald Trump about potential funding cuts.
“Young people have to go to school, and there’s problems when you don’t go to school, too,” Trump said in an interview aired Sunday on Fox News.
“And there’s going to be a funding problem because we’re not going to fund when they don’t open their schools.”
What’s more, Parson also raised eyebrows by saying he may pardon Mark and Patricia McCloskey for any crimes they may potentially be convicted of. The McCloskey’s have come to the fore after video showed the gun-totting couple confronting gate-crashing Black Lives Matter protesters who marched by their home in a private community.
Police reportedly seized the couple’s guns after officials executed a search warrant, the Associated Press reported.
The pair lives in an affluent neighborhood of St. Louis and both work as personal injury lawyers.
Mark McCloskey said his 30-year career as a lawyer focused on helping those ‘that need a voice’[/caption]
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On June 29, Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner released a statement announcing that officials are investigating the incident.
“I am alarmed at the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protesters were met by guns at a violent assault,” Gardner said.
She added: “My office is currently working with the public to investigate these events.”
Gardner then vowed to seek justice against people breaking the law.
“Make no mistake: we will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights, and will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable.”