Trump cites son’s COVID-19 bout in arguing for schools to reopen

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.

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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.

Related: Trump and Joe Biden on the campaign trail

22 PHOTOSTrump and Biden on the campaign trailSee GalleryTrump and Biden on the campaign trailSupporters cheer as President Donald Trump departs a campaign rally at John P. Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Johnstown, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Southwest Focal Point Community Center in, Pembroke Pines, Fla., Tuesday Oct. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, in Johnstown, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden speaks during a drive in rallyin Miramar, Florida on October 13, 2020. – Joe Biden headed for Florida to court elderly Americans who helped elect Donald Trump four years ago but appear to be swinging to the Democratic candidate for the White House this time around amid the coronavirus pandemic. Biden, at 77 the oldest Democratic nominee ever, is to “deliver his vision for older Americans” at an event in the city of Pembroke Pines, north of Miami, his campaign said. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)Supporters cheer as President Donald Trump departs a campaign rally at John P. Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Johnstown, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)PEMBROKE PINES, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 13: Wearing a face mask to reduce the risk posed by the coronavirus, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden poses for a socially-distanced selfie after delivering remarks about his ‘vision for older Americans’ at Southwest Focal Point Community Center October 13, 2020 in Pembroke Pines, Florida. With three weeks until Election Day, Biden is campaigning in Florida. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)President Donald Trump moves to the song YMCA as he finishes a campaign rally at John P. Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Johnstown, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)Supporters look on as Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden speaks during a drive in rally in Miramar, Florida on October 13, 2020. – Joe Biden headed for Florida to court elderly Americans who helped elect Donald Trump four years ago but appear to be swinging to the Democratic candidate for the White House this time around amid the coronavirus pandemic. Biden, at 77 the oldest Democratic nominee ever, is to “deliver his vision for older Americans” at an event in the city of Pembroke Pines, north of Miami, his campaign said. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)Supporters listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, in Johnstown, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) wears a mask depicting Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden as he speaks during a drive in rally in Miramar, Florida on October 13, 2020. – Joe Biden headed for Florida to court elderly Americans who helped elect Donald Trump four years ago but appear to be swinging to the Democratic candidate for the White House this time around amid the coronavirus pandemic. Biden, at 77 the oldest Democratic nominee ever, is to “deliver his vision for older Americans” at an event in the city of Pembroke Pines, north of Miami, his campaign said. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)President Donald Trump throws face masks into the crowd during a campaign rally at John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, in Johnstown, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)The Florida state flag hands behind Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden as he speaks at Southwest Focal Point Community Center in, Pembroke Pines, Fla., Tuesday Oct. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at John P. Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Johnstown, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)While maintaining social distance, people try to make a selfie as Jill Biden, center, waves to supporters after she was introduced by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, left, with Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Texas, looking while campaigning for her husband and former Vice President Joe Biden in a parking lot event at Fair Park Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)Supporters cheer as President Donald Trump departs a campaign rally at John P. Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Johnstown, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. 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