KELLYANNE CONWAY, SENIOR ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Sure. Well, Ed, first on the most important factor here which is 50 states now have -- they have some kind of reopening plan. We’ve been working with all those governors. I was on the governors’ call with the president, the vice president, the first lady two short days ago.
One of the components discussed there was the fact that the cure cannot be worse than the disease. We have this increase in mental health challenges and suicides and drug use because we’re creating a pandemic within the pandemic and that all precious lives lost for whatever reason are precious lives lost.
So a piece of that is making sure that the isolation economic desperation is included that we don’t want people to feel terrified to leave their homes and they’re facing their June 1st bills now. We’re closer to June 1st than May 1st now. They’re facing these bills. So we’re urging these governors to each consider mental health and other maladies as part of their reopening plan.
Look, the president made very clear that the governors have the final say in the latitude to do what they think is best in certain geographic areas. We’ll have the governors or Arkansas, a Republican, and Kansas, a Democrat, today here at the White House, and the president also right now he’s keeping watching on what other places of worship and professional sports and schools and daycare centers are doing as well. The CDC has put out guidelines, but we also hear from many experts that getting our children back into an academic and social structure, to give them that support.
You know, Sandra and Ed, it’s very heartbreaking to me to read the statistics and the anecdotes, the increase in child abuse, spousal abuse, drug abuse, mental health challenges in some places where kids with the synagogues and the mosques and the churches closed, the schools closed. So many of these kids don’t have a safe place and another adult to go and say I’m being harmed or I’m worried about the arguments or the alcohol use. Whatever it is we have to make sure that when we’re, quote, “getting back to normal and reopening,” we put these kids first. We’re listening to the scientists and the economists as well, but it’s so exciting for this country to feel that people who are qualified to go back to work, they're in low infection rates, they have supply surge hospital capacity, they haven’t been impacted or exposed, they don’t know anybody who’s been impacted or exposed, and they want to get back to work. They want the dignity of work.
We are slowly and safely doing that, and I have to say for as an American we should all be happy how much collaboration there has been with all these governors right, left, and center. That is really the greatest thing. And I think some of these don’t get enough credit, too --
SMITH: Kellyanne, I know that you -- we’ve got few seconds left, but what is the White House thinking on public schools in this country being able to safely reopen in the fall?
CONWAY: Well that, of course, will go to each state and perhaps even down to the school districts, but we are putting out guidelines as to how safely to do that, and I think we have to weigh the benefit of the kids being in school to learn.
Not everybody has a great digital connection it turns out. Not everybody has 5G and internet access. That digital divide has been very real for many students. We replaced their meals early on, Sandra and Ed, but we’ve got to also get them back to that social and academic structure that is so important to so many of these -- of these school children.
But I know the schools will -- excuse me, the states will weigh in on it. Not every state, not every school district, not every geographic location within a state is created equally in terms of what the infection rates have been, but as a parent of four school children who have like all school children across this country have been navigating e-learning and distance learning, it has some benefits, but it really has a great downside, too.
We -- those kids benefit from being with other kids, from being with adults, from going out and getting fresh air, from being taught in the classroom. So we want to keep them safe, but we also realize that safety is physical, but it’s also mental and it’s also social for many of these kids. And Ed, as for the rallies --
CONWAY: -- there will be a campaign. I think Joe Biden in his basement has benefited him. We get a total of less than an hour of Joe Biden a week. That’s great for Joe Biden, but there will be a campaign. There will be debates. Hopefully many of them, more of them than usual because we haven’t had a normal election season so far.
HENRY: Rallies this month or next month?
CONWAY: There will be rallies, I sure hope so, because people want to do that. I would just say if you're socially distancing at a rally, if you only have two out of every 10 seats filled at a Trump rally, it’d look more like a Biden or a Clinton rally, so that would be odd, but he will be there and he will be visiting these states to make sure people understand the fullness of the Trump progress report and the Trump presidency and how it has positively impacted so many American lives. This election is not a referendum only. It’s a choice, and people will have that choice.