Trump says U.S. schools must reopen in fall amid pandemic

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds 4th of July U.S. Independence Day celebrations at the White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Monday that U.S. schools must open in the fall - a decision over which he has limited power - as governors struggle with a nationwide rise in coronavirus infections and states reverse and pause attempts to reopen.

Schools are largely under the jurisdiction of state and local governments. Educators have struggled with decisions over opening schools considering the risk of infection to both students and faculty.

"SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!" Trump wrote in a Twitter post.

It was not immediately clear what schools Trump was referring to - elementary and high schools or colleges and universities - or what actions Trump was considering.

Colleges and universities have announced a number of plans for the fall semester, including changing the calendars and holding some courses online. Harvard University announced earlier on Monday that all of its courses would be held online for the upcoming academic year.

Trump also made a series of Twitter posts defending his administration's response to the pandemic. The United States has the highest number of cases and deaths worldwide from the novel coronavirus.

(Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Will Dunham)