When asked whether he would allow his own children to return to school for “in-person education” on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Kushner, who has three children with Ivanka, President Donald Trump’s daughter and senior adviser, said he would “absolutely” do so.
Kushner told CBS’s Margaret Brennan that he isn’t concerned about the possibility of his kids becoming ill from COVID-19, given that children appear to be at a significantly low risk of infection when exposed to the virus.
“Children have a six times higher chance to die from the flu than from the coronavirus, so based on the data I’ve seen, I don’t believe that’s a risk,” he said. “Again, this virus impacts different people in different ways. We know a lot more now than we did.”
Only 7.3 percent of all reported COVID-19 cases in the country were among children 17 and under, even though they make up about 22 percent of the country’s population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency also noted that the real rate of infection in children remains unknown because of the lack of widespread testing and the prioritization of testing for adults and those with severe illness.
“Our school is not opening up five days a week; I wish they were,” Kushner said. “But we absolutely will be sending our kids back to school, and I have no fear in doing so.”
In Washington, where Kushner’s children attend a private Jewish day school, public schools have been ordered to remain closed and continue to provide exclusively distant learning, while public charter and private schools have the freedom to make their own reopening plans.
“The health, safety, and well-being of our students, staff, families, and community are our top priority,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a July 30 statement. “Flexibility will be key as we move forward, monitoring the conditions of our community and the health and well-being of students and staff.”
Meanwhile, in Kushner’s home state of New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy recently backed down on his initial order that would require schools to offer at least some in-person learning when the new school year starts. The Democratic governor announced on Aug. 12 that it would be up to individual districts to decide if they can safely offer in-person classes, allowing schools to go fully online if they don’t believe they are able to meet safety guidelines for reopening.