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Dr. Anthony Fauci continued his streak of contradictory coronavirus recommendations by admitting that keeping schools from reopening in the fall would be a “bit of a reach.”
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told CNN Wednesday that while he did not want to make any “broad statements” about the safety of returning children to school in the fall, he did see a difference in the level of concern over them becoming infected.
Just a few weeks ago, Fauci warned that reopening schools in the fall without a vaccine might bring “needless suffering and death,” but he now seemed to have another apparent reversal.
“I hesitate to make any broad statements about whether it is or is not quote ‘safe’ for kids to come back to school,” Fauci told CNN in a phone interview this week.
“When you talk about children going back to school and their safety, it really depends on the level of viral activity, and the particular area that you’re talking about. What happens all too often, understandably, but sometimes misleadingly, is that we talk about the country as a whole in a unidimensional way,” he added.
“Children can get infected, so, yes, so you’ve got to be careful,” Fauci noted.
“You got to be careful for them and you got to be careful that they may not spread it. Now, to make an extrapolation that you shouldn’t open schools, I think is a bit of a reach,” he said.
But back in May, the Trump administration’s leading infectious diseases doctor cautioned about opening schools in the fall without a vaccine for the contagious virus, though he acknowledged that it was not a requirement to reopen.
“The idea of having treatments available or a vaccine to facilitate the reentry of students into the fall term would be something that would be a bit of a bridge too far,” he said during testimony in a virtual Senate hearing.
NEW: Dr. Fauci on the prospect of students returning to school this fall:
“The idea of having treatments available or a vaccine to facilitate the re-entry of students into the fall term would be something that would be a bit of a bridge too far.” pic.twitter.com/wGpDI1X78P
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 12, 2020
President Donald Trump openly disagreed with Fauci at the tine.
“We have to open our schools, young people are very little affected by this
We have to get the schools opened, we have to get our country open
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 14, 2020
Naturally, Trump was raked over the coals for disagreeing with the left’s new media darling.
But a month later, Fauci is now thinking “we need to discuss the pros and the cons of bringing kids back to school in September.”
“In some situations, there will be no problem for children to go back to school,” he told CNN.
“In others, you may need to do some modifications. You know, modifications could be breaking up the class so you don’t have a crowded classroom, maybe half in the morning, half in the afternoon, having children doing alternate schedules. There’s a whole bunch of things that one can do,” he said, noting that communities will have to “be creative.”
According to Education Week, COVID-19 has caused the closure of at least 124,000 public schools across 48 U.S. states. And while there have been inconclusive answers about whether children get infected at the same rate as adults, or pass the infection on to others, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published guidelines for the safe reopening of schools.
Hand-washing, wearing face coverings, social distancing, as well as spacing desks six feet apart and cleaning surfaces were part of the recommendations for getting schools back up and running.
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