Trump says 'get the children back to school' after confirming son Barron had COVID-19

The president spoke out about his son Barron's diagnosis at an Iowa rally while pushing to reopen U.S. schools for in-person learning. "I don't even think he knew he had it," Trump said.
/ Source: TODAY

President Donald Trump said at a rally in Iowa on Wednesday that the nation has to "get the children back to school" while also discussing his teen son testing positive for coronavirus.

First lady Melania Trump confirmed earlier Wednesday in a personal statement on the White House's official website that their son Barron, 14, had tested positive at the same time as his parents.

President Donald Trump said his son Barron, 14, tested positive for COVID-19 but is now symptom-free. Erin Scott / Bloomberg via Getty Images

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"Barron Trump, he had the corona 19," President Trump said at the rally in Des Moines. "He had it for such a short period of time I don't even think he knew he had it because they're young and their immune systems are strong and they fight it off 99.9%, and Barron is beautiful and he's free."

Melania Trump wrote in her statement that Barron initially tested negative but then later tested positive for COVID-19.

"Luckily he is a strong teenager and exhibited no symptoms," Trump wrote. "In one way I was glad the three of us went through this at the same time so we could take care of one another and spend time together. He has since tested negative."

President Trump was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center while his wife recovered at the White House. The president received supplemental oxygen twice early on and then was given an experimental antibody cocktail and placed on a steroid treatment.

"When I had it, maybe you might've read, maybe most of you don't know this but I had it, too," Trump said at the rally. "I didn't love it. You know, it's a little tough and you have a temperature and you don't feel good."

Trump also called for schools across the nation that are currently employing virtual learning or a hybrid of virtual and in-person classes to have children return in person full time.

The nation's largest school district in New York City, with more than 1.1 million students and 75,000 teachers, reopened on a hybrid schedule at the end of last month. Schools in Los Angeles and Chicago remain on remote learning.

"The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself," Trump said. "And if you look at what's happening with these lockdowns to children — get the children back to school."

The coronavirus has killed more than 217,000 Americans, according to NBC News. More than 20 states have hit a new high in their seven-day average of case counts since Saturday, according to The Washington Post.

Some parents have knowingly sent children who have coronavirus back to in-person classes. Officials in Wisconsin said last month that they were investigating multiple schools for parents sending their children to school even though they knew they were sick.

"Never in a million years did we imagine or think to account for parents deliberately sending their sick or symptomatic child to school," Kirsten Johnson, Washington-Ozaukee public health director, told NBC News.