TRUMP CALLS ON GOVERNORS TO REOPEN SCHOOLS

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump called on governors across the nation to work to reopen schools closed because of the coronavirus, pointedly taking issue with Dr. Anthony Fauci's caution against moving too quickly in sending students back to class.

The president accused Fauci of wanting “to play all sides of the equation," a comment that suggested he is tiring of the nation's top infectious disease expert.

“I think they should open the schools, absolutely. I think they should,” Trump told reporters at the White House, echoing comments he had made in a television interview. “Our country's got to get back and it's got to get back as soon as possible. And I don't consider our country coming back if the schools are closed.”

Fauci had urged caution in testimony before a Senate committee Tuesday, although he made clear that he believes reopening decisions will likely differ from one region to the next.

“To me, it’s not an acceptable answer,” Trump said of Fauci yesterday, adding that the coronavirus has “had very little impact on young people.”

DIRE PREDICTION ON CORONAVIRUS

WASHINGTON (AP) — America faces the “darkest winter in modern history” unless leaders act decisively to prevent a rebound of the coronavirus. So says a government whistleblower who alleges he was ousted from his job after warning the Trump administration to prepare for the pandemic.

Immunologist Dr. Rick Bright makes his sobering prediction in testimony prepared for his appearance today before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Aspects of his complaint about early administration handling of the crisis are expected to be backed up by testimony from an executive of a company that manufactures respirator masks.

A federal watchdog agency has found “reasonable grounds” that Bright was removed from his post as head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority after sounding the alarm at the Department of Health and Human Services.

OBAMA AND THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly eight years after he was last on the ballot, Barack Obama is emerging as a central figure in the 2020 presidential election.

Democrats are eagerly embracing Obama as a political wingman for Joe Biden, who spent two terms by his side as vice president. Obama remains the party’s most popular figure, particularly with black voters and younger Democrats, and Biden’s presidential campaign is planning for him to have a highly visible role in the months to come.

For President Donald Trump, that means an opportunity to focus the spotlight on one of his favorite political foils. In recent days, Trump and his allies have aggressively pushed conspiracy theories about Obama designed to fire up the president’s conservative base, taint Biden by association and distract from the glut of grim health and economic news from the coronavirus pandemic.

LA. APPEALS COURT OK’S LAWSUIT IN FRESHMAN HAZING CASE

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A federal appeals court said the parents of a Louisiana State University freshman who died during a hazing ritual can pursue a lawsuit that accuses the university of committing sexual discrimination when disciplining sororities and fraternities.

Stephen and Rae Ann Gruver filed a lawsuit in 2018 on behalf of their son Maxwell Gruver, who died from alcohol poisoning after a Phi Delta Theta fraternity party.

The university claimed sovereign immunity seeking to nullify the suit but on Tuesday the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that because LSU accepts federal funding, it waives immunity from lawsuits claiming sexual discrimination, The Advocate reports.

The lawsuit, which seeks $25 million, alleges that LSU responded with “deliberate indifference” to allegations of hazing at fraternities. It also said Phi Delta has “a long history of dangerous misconduct at universities across the country.”