From FOX 5:
WASHINGTON – White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Thursday that “the science should not stand in the way” of schools reopening in the fall, despite concerns from health leaders regarding opening educational institutions amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has been worsening in several states in recent weeks.
McEnany on Monday inaccurately characterized what the chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said on the matter. A day earlier, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos also was wrong in stating that the research shows there is no danger “in any way” if kids are in school.
No such conclusion has been reached.
McEnany claimed earlier this week Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that children were not spreading COVID-19. But according to an Associated Press fact check analysis, Redfield did not say that. He said that officials don’t have evidence that children are driving infections, but aren’t ruling out the possibility that children can spread the virus to adults.
The officials did not reach a conclusion that “children are not spreading this.” Nor does the evidence prove that they are.
U.S. pediatricians walked back earlier support regarding the reopening of schools, saying science should guide decision-making and that federal funding would be critical. The clarification came after the White House cited the group in its push for in-person instruction.
Last week, Trump challenged the school reopening guidelines provided by the CDC, accusing the Atlanta-based federal agency of “asking schools to do very impractical things” in order to reopen.
The recommended measures include spacing students’ desks 6 feet apart, staggering start and arrival times, and teaching kids effective hygiene measures to prevent infections.
Dr. Tom Frieden, former CDC director, said during an online briefing on July 8, “The single most important thing we can do to keep our schools safe has nothing to do with what happens in school. It’s how well we control COVID-19 in the community.”
“Right now there are places around the country where the virus is spreading explosively,” Frieden said, “and it would be difficult if not impossible to operate schools safely until the virus is under better control.”