US President Donald Trump, on Wednesday, said that he is comfortable with his grandchildren, and son, Barron, returning to school, as he argued that schools must remain open in spite of concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus infection if children get back to school.

The president's push for the reopening of schools comes at a time when the number of COVID-19 infections is rapidly surging across the country, including Texas and Florida, which are crucial to his re-election bid this year. Trump, has also threatened to hold back funding if schools refuse to reopen.

Children Have Strong Immune Systems, Says Trump

Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump Instagram grab/ Donald Trump

He said he was fine with the children in his family returning to school buildings. "I am comfortable with that," he said. Trump said children had strong immune systems and suggested they would not bring the disease home to parents and elderly relatives, something he said was being studied. "They don't catch it easily, they don't bring it home easily," he said.

He said the decision to open schools would ultimately be up to state governors. At his second coronavirus-related press briefing in as many days, Trump urged young people again to avoid packed bars and said he was conducting the briefing without doctors from his White House Coronavirus Task Force because he had been briefed by them himself.

Blames Protests for Spread of Infection

Trump cited civil rights demonstrations around the country as one reason for the spike in cases. The president has been criticized for his "law and order" emphasis in response to protests after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man in Minneapolis who died in police custody.

He again encouraged people to wear masks. He said it was up to governors to decide how strongly to encourage or require face coverings in their states. Trump has only worn a mask once in public but this week started encouraging their use on a wider scale. He also pressed Americans to practice good hygiene. "I'm finding more and more people are saying, 'Wash your hands.' So, wash your hands," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)