President Donald Trump pushed his son Barron Trump‘s coronavirus diagnosis as evidence that the U.S. should reopen on Wednesday, arguing that the 14-year-old was unaffected by the virus because of his hardy immune system. 

At a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Trump told a crowd, “Barron Trump, he had the corona-19,” referring to the novel coronavirus.  

The president continued, “He had the China virus, right? And 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 percent. And Baron is beautiful, and he’s free, free.”

The president noted that his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, had announced that Barron, 14, had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier that day. Melania released the information Wednesday morning in a written statement detailing her and the president’s experience with COVID-19 nearly two weeks after the couple was diagnosed. Her statement included an announcement that Barron had tested positive for the virus after the couple was diagnosed and was “asymptomatic.” Melania clarified that Barron has since tested negative. 

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“It happens. People have it, and it goes. Get the kids back to school. We’ve got to get them back to school,” the president said. 

Barron’s school, St. Andrews, a private episcopal school in in the Washington, D.C. area, has conducted all-virtual classes so far this academic calendar. 

The president, who himself tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month, has repeatedly advocated for schools to physically reopen, despite health expert’s concerns that doing so could worsen the spread of COVID-19.

At times, Trump has falsely claimed that children are “almost immune” to the virus.

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