The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) repeated his call for schools to open for in-person learning, asserting that schools are not a major cause of coronavirus contagion.
“You know, I was very disappointed in New York when they closed schools, when they hit their three percent point,” said Dr. Robert Redfield during an interview with CDC officials and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“[B]ecause, as you pointed out, we now have substantial data that shows that schools’ face-to-face learning can be conducted in K-12, and particularly in the elementary and middle schools in a safe and responsible way,” Redfield continued, according to Fox News.
The CDC director explained infections that do occur among teachers and students are largely due to the spread of the virus within communities or in homes.
“We’re not seeing intra-school transmission,” Redfield affirmed, adding:
I just think it’s healthy for these kids to be in school. That said, they got to do it safely and they’ve got to do it responsibly. And when this was started over the summer, no one really knew for certain. They thought that these public health measures would work. But now the data clearly shows us that you can operate these schools in face-to-face learning in a safe and responsible way.
It is critically important for our public health to open schools this fall. CDC resources will help parents, teachers and administrators make practical, safety-focused decisions as this school year begins. https://t.co/QSCGa85yT2 pic.twitter.com/hyajzvIgET
— Dr. Robert R. Redfield (@CDCDirector) July 24, 2020
Redfield said as early as July that it is “critically important for public health to open schools this fall.”
He warned parents that “school closures have disrupted normal ways of life for you and your children and they have had negative health consequences on our youth.”
Everyone wants our schools to reopen. The question is how to make it safe and how to make it stick. Forcing educators and students back into classrooms in areas where infection rates are going up or remaining too high is just plain dangerous. pic.twitter.com/8OeTj2eWdt
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 17, 2020
At the same time, former Vice President Joe Biden has been warning Americans that it is “just plain dangerous” for children to return to school.