Transcript for Trump pushes for return to classrooms as coronavirus deaths rise
Good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a very busy Wednesday night of the state of emergency in new York just declared after that deadly storm. Also, news coming this on what led to that Beirut explosion. But we're going to begin tonight with the president just moments ago, saying schools must open in this country, that we will do it with good hygiene, he said, reiterating what he said earlier today. That children are virtually immune. Many parents and teachers in this country remain extremely concerned, and even if the children are stronger against this, can they infect teachers or bring it home to parents and grandparents? Tonight, the U.S. Now topping 4.8 million cases and more than 157,000 American lives lost. Deaths in parts of the south and west on the rise. Florida now becoming the second state to surpass 500,000 cases. The state also reporting a one-day record increase now in the number of hospitalizations. The president said today, this thing's going away, but many parents and teachers aware of the reality behind those numbers remain concerned. The images of students back in school in crowded hallways with no masks. So, where do with go from here, with so many districts trying to come up with a plan on how to do this safely, if at all? ABC's Marcus Moore leading us off tonight from Texas. Reporter: With tens of thousands of students already back in school, president trump today pushing for a return to the classroom across the country, boldly claiming the virus is on its way out. It's going away. It will go away like things go away. Absolutely. No question in my mind, it will go away. Reporter: But deaths from the virus rising in 32 states. Hospitalizations in 28. Florida topping half a million cases. The president insisting children have stronger immune systems. If you look at children, children are almost and I would almost say definitely but almost immune from this disease. Reporter: But children are not immune. And some returning students are already infected. In Canton, Georgia, a second grader testing positive. All 20 students and the teacher are in quarantine. This was the scene at north Paulding high school. Many student without masks. The superintendent admitting to parents that the photo doesn't look good, but insisting they're following protocols and that class changes are a challenge. Back to school! Back to school! Reporter: In Ohio, a protest calling for more time in the classroom. We hear in Dublin just want our kids to have choices. Reporter: But in Chicago, the third-largest school district in the country, a decision to restart classes virtually. Third grader Nolan Wu in California isn't sure in-person classes will work. I have this weird strong feeling that it's not going to work at all. You're going to need a face shield and a mask. And I'm sick of it and many other kids are -- they might take it off. Reporter: At the same time, a recent study in Washington, D.C. Finds children of color at greatest risk for testing positive. The study found 46% of hispanic children tested and 30% of black children were positive for the virus. Compared to just 7% of white children. Those racial disparities unfolding in a crisis along the Texas border, where there is an urgent race to save covid patients. In this icu, doctors and nurses flipping them onto their stomachs to help them breathe. Today, I saw so far about 25 patients on a ventilator. Reporter: Next door, newborns whose mothers tested positive. Clarissa Munoz has only seen her baby through a phone after he was whisked away in a zippered tarp to prevent exposure. I just delivered. And they showed him -- they showed him to me and right away, they took him. It's not a good feeling at all, especially for me, that I'm being a first-time mom. Reporter: More than 1,000 people have died here and hospitals are overwhelmed. Forced to transfer some patients as far as 700 miles away. For weeks, officials in the largely hispanic Rio grande valley have pleaded for a field hospital, completed just this week. We need the help. Our house is burning. And we are no less American than other people in other parts of the country. So, let's get to Marcus Moore with us tonight. He's in McAllen, Texas, where they have turned a convention center now into a new field hospital, Marcus? Reporter: David, the first patient got here on Tuesday afternoon. And they have set up tents inside the convention center. Right now, 50 beds are in use. But they have the capacity for 250 patients as they try to respond this growing health emergency in this region. David? Marcus Moore leading us off.
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