"It's significantly safer for students to live with other young people than to go home and spread the virus to older Americans," Trump said.
While older adults face greater risks from COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last month that otherwise healthy young adults can experience lingering symptoms, including cough, fatigue and body aches, for two to three weeks.
Trump's comments follow recent suspensions of in-person instruction at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at the University of Notre Dame. UNC announced Monday that, after a surge in cases during the first week of classes, all undergraduate courses would shift online. A day later, Notre Dame canceled campus classes for two weeks amid a sharp increase in cases.
Those schools' struggles have prompted some other colleges to backtrack on plans for campus classes. Michigan State University told students Tuesday to stay at home for the fall term, citing rising virus cases and the recent experiences of "other institutions."
Clusters of cases at UNC, Notre Dame and elsewhere have been tied to off-campus parties, in some cases at fraternity houses. In his comments Wednesday, Trump did not address health risks tied to students' off-campus behavior.
Trump has said for weeks that schools and colleges must reopen and that they can do so safely. He has threatened to cut funding to schools that don't reopen, and he threatened to revoke schools' and colleges' tax exempt status. The White House says schools are key to the nation's economic recovery, and Trump has said students need to be in school and on campus to learn.
"There's nothing like campus. There's nothing like being with the teacher as opposed to being on a computer board," Trump said Wednesday.
He said there are simple measures universities can take to open safely. Students who feel sick should not attend class and should limit social interaction, as they would for any other illness, he said. "Universities should implement measures to protect the high-risk students or professors."
Some colleges, however, say the risks of reopening are too great.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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