I am not the first one to say this, and it is less prophetic than just observably true: Donald Trump is consistently putting his calculus of how he can win reelection over any commitment to protect the nation’s public health. The president clearly has no coherent strategy for addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the recent surge across the country, and it’s clear that the health and lives of the people of the United States matter much less to him than his own political fortunes.


This shameful and alarming truth clarifies the stakes of this chaotic time. Trump’s latest political ploy is demanding the opening of all schools in the fall, threatening to withhold supplementary funding from those that refuse. Just as he turned mask-wearing into a political litmus test, he’s using our children’s futures as a political tactic to try to put the pandemic behind us, get the economy going again, and help him win reelection.


In the meantime, families are anxious to hear whether, when and how schools will reopen; how to keep our kids, their teachers and ourselves safe; and how in the world they can keep caring for and homeschooling their children while working full time. They can’t. And it’s because of a failure of leadership.