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Atlanta mayor says it's 'absurd' for Trump to threaten to cut aid from schools that don't reopen

'This president needs to focus on how do we get technology expanded into all of our school systems.'

ATLANTA — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms didn't hold back when it came to her opinion on President Donald Trump threatening to hold funding from schools that don't reopen in the upcoming school year.

Bottoms talked with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Thursday about it.

"I think that’s absurd," she said.

She used her family's COVID-19 story as an example.

"We had a child in our house who's asymptomatic," Bottoms said. " And when our children are pressured to go back into the classroom, they are infecting the teachers, the cafeteria workers, the janitors inside the school.”

Bottoms said earlier this week that three people in her household, including herself, have tested positive for the virus. But it took several days for them to receive their results.

"This is the story we are hearing all across America, and certainly had we gotten those results back sooner then we could have taken additional precautions, because my husband and I were both negative at that time," she said.

She said while she doesn't control Atlanta Public Schools, she trusts that the district will be thoughtful about the reopening plan.

“This president needs to focus on, how do we get technology expanded into all of our school systems," Bottoms said. "How do we expand broadband, so if we are faced with children having to go through virtual learning again in the fall that they all have access to technology and broadband."

"That’s where he can better use his efforts and not the theatrics that he continues to spew from the White House," she added.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that countries including Germany, Denmark and Norway have reopened schools “with no problems.” He also repeated his claim that Democrats want to keep schools closed for political reasons and not because of any risks associated with the coronavirus. 

RELATED: President Trump threatens to cut federal aid from schools that don't reopen

"And we have to continue to take responsibility for ourselves because there is a lack of leadership in our state and there’s a lack of leadership from the White House, and unfortunately our governor and the president are on the same page," Bottoms said. 

In Bottoms' interview with Mitchell, she called Kemp's leadership "irresponsible."

“The governor is not doing enough for our state and his leadership has been irresponsible," she said. “We opened up very quickly. We are now seeing the results of that. Our COVID numbers are as high as they’ve ever been.”

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported 2,837 new cases on Thursday, bringing the state's total to 106,727. The number of new cases are fewer than the day before, but still the fifth-highest single-day number on record.  

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information. 

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information. 


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