He also has cast blame for the recent rise in coronavirus infections on protesters, despite no conclusive evidence pointing demonstrations as a source of new infections.
Eager to reopen schools in the fall amid widespread unemployment and economic fallout without any clear signal that infections will be under control, the president falsely claimed that “a lot of people are saying” that children don’t “transmit” the virus to their families. Pressed on his insistence that schools reopen, potentially unknowingly spreading coronavirus to members of their families at home, he said that school children “don’t bring it home with them” and “don’t catch it easily.”
Donald Trump has announced a “surge” of federal law enforcement into US cities, including Chicago, as his administration doubles down against Black Lives Matter protests with legally dubious federal police, justifying the response on recent violence crime spikes.
Under “Operation Legend,” the president and US attorney general William Barr are sending federal police to Chicago and Albuquerque “to help state and local officials fight high levels of violent crime, particularly gun violence,” the Department of Justice announced.
Attorney General Barr also claimed that violence unrelated to the protests “is a direct result of the attack on the police forces and the weakening of police forces,” though no evidence suggests that.
A recent South Korea study found that school-aged children between ages 10 to 19 are more likely to spread the coronavirus to their household than any other age group.
In his second consecutive coronavirus briefing since April, the president also boasted that the nationwide coronavirus positive test rate is “coming down fairly rapidly” from its peak in April. But cases remain high overall – nearing 4 million since the beginning of the outbreak, including 2 million within the last month alone and at least 70,000 that were identified on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, at his return to the White House coronavirus briefing schedule, he admitted that coronavirus in the US “will get worse before it gets better” – a marked departure from his previous insistence that Covid-19 would simply fade away. He made the admission in his first briefing on the subject since April, when he suggested that injecting disinfectant could help fight infection.
At the same briefing on Tuesday, questioned on the detention of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, Mr Trump said he wished her well. He was at pains to avoid commenting substantively on her case, its links with Jeffrey Epstein or on Prince Andrew. Mr Trump used to socialise with Epstein and Ms Maxwell in Florida.
Meanwhile, the administration has ordered China to close its consulate in Houston, Texas. People have been seen burning documents in rubbish bins in the building’s courtyard, according to US media reports that cited emergency services. Beijing said the order to close was a “provocation” and went against international law.