As the start of the school year beckons, teachers across the U.S. are faced with going back to the classroom amid growing cases of coronavirus and worries not enough is being done to protect both students and educators. President Trump was back to promoting hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment in a series of retweets social media platforms removed, deeming them "false information.”

For teachers, the move to go back to school presents challenges that many may not be ready to face. The American Federation of Teachers, the second-largest teachers union in the U.S. with 1.7 million members, said it would support its members if they decide to strike, calling it a “last resort.”

Teachers are calling for adequate safety measures to be put in place in the states that are looking to reopen classroom doors this fall, and the union is pushing for schools to delay reopening until the coronavirus transmission rates fall below 1% and average daily test positivity rates stay below 5% in a given district.

The union is also calling for effective contact tracing, face mask requirements for both teachers and students, updated ventilation systems inside schools and procedures to help promote social distancing.

President Trump has demanded schools reopen in the fall, threatening to withhold federal funds.

Trump was criticized Tuesday for a series of retweets that touted the use of hydroxychloroquine, which were removed from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube as “false information about cures and treatments” for the coronavirus, CNN reported.

The video clip, which was first posted by Breitbart, showed four people who said they are part of America’s Frontline Doctors, denouncing the use of face masks and promoting hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19.

In the video, one woman says, “This virus has a cure, it's called hydroxychloroquine, zinc and Zithromax. You don't need masks, there is a cure.”

Hydroxychloroquine has been shown to be ineffective at treating COVID-19, but has been touted by Trump nonetheless. Scientific studies have shown the anti-malaria drug can cause fatal heart arrhythmia.

The video was removed after Trump retweeted it to his more than 82 million followers, as did son, Donald Trump Jr. It was not taken down until after it had garnered more than 14 million views and was shared 600,000 times, CNN reported.

The video also prompted Twitter to restrict Trump Jr.’s Twitter account for 12 hours.

“We did not suspend the account. The screenshot shared directly says that Twitter required the Tweet to be deleted because it violated our rules, and that we would limit some account functionality for 12 hours,” Twitter told Reuters.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said there is no drug or therapy yet approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent or treat the virus.

In other coronavirus news:

  • The Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Veterans Affairs have formed the COVID-19 Insights Partnership to coordinate and share health data as well as research and expertise as they look to combat the coronavirus. The partnership will focus on vaccine and therapeutic developments and outcomes as well as other critical scientific topics to better understand COVID-19.
  • More Major League Baseball games have been postponed because of the coronavirus as four more members of the Miami Marlins test positive for COVID-19, multiple reports said. Tuesday’s game between the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies was postponed after the Marlins played a weekend series at the Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park.
  • Fourteen members of a Texas family tested positive for the coronavirus after a get-together that occurred in June. One of the family members died earlier in July from COVID-19, with the other family members now recovering. A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family.
  • A study conducted by London’s King’s College has identified six distinct clusters of COVID-19 symptoms that can help determine the treatment a patient should receive. The symptom clusters could also determine the percentage of chance a patient would need breathing support.
  • CES 2021 will take place digitally as the coronavirus continues to pose a threat in large crowds. Organizers of the event made the announcement on Tuesday, saying that participants of the show will be able to still see the latest technology launches and experts online in the safety of their homes or offices.
  • Global positive cases of the coronavirus reached more than 16.5 million Tuesday late afternoon, with over 655,000 COVID-19 deaths, John Hopkins University reported. The U.S. had more than 4.3 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus with deaths topping 148,000, the university said.
Head teacher Petra Revay-Schwarz says being separated could pose a barrier to learning
Head teacher Petra Revay-Schwarz says being separated could pose a barrier to learning AFP / JOE KLAMAR