Bill Gates agrees with President Trump about the reopening of schools in the U.S. He says they should reopen in the fall despite the spread of COVID-19, saying, “the benefits outweigh the costs.”
“I’m a big believer that for young children, the benefits in almost every location — particularly if you can protect the teachers as well — the benefits outweigh the costs,” Gates said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in an interview that aired on Tuesday.
“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,” Gates said. “And if they’re not in, then you have to put massive effort into trying to get there to be continued learning online.”
According to CNBC, Gates’s charitable foundation has contributed millions to coronavirus vaccine research.
“Our foundation has revamped our education work to really jump in and help … get those online capabilities up,” he said. “Make sure that minority students and low-income students aren’t suffering the most throughout all of this.”
The billionaire philanthropist’s remarks come as school districts across the country prepare plans for fall classes. They come despite the continuous threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump’s administration “has lately increased its calls for schools to fully reopen for in-person class,” CNBC reported. They also emphasized “the social and emotional costs of not doing so.”
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidance on reopening schoolhouses. They stated that all administrators must “implement multiple SARS-CoV-2 mitigation strategies (e.g., social distancing, cloth face coverings, hand hygiene, and use of cohorting),” among others.