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Don’t expect to hear much about this from the mainstream media, but on Thursday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield advised against schools remaining closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m of the point of view as a public health leader in this nation, that having the schools actually closed is a greater public health threat to the children than having the schools reopen,” Redfield reportedly said in an interview with The Hill.
“I think really people underestimate the public health consequences of having the schools closed on the kids. I’m confident we can open these schools safely, work in partnership with the local jurisdictions.”
Yet if you were to search for news about schools reopening, you’d encounter mainly articles and columns pushing back on schools reopening:
Florida has ordered schools to start back with full-time in-person instruction at least 5 days a week — despite the state having one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the U.S.
“To be perfectly honest, it’s terrifying,” says one middle school teacher.https://t.co/RHpssl4f12
— NPR (@NPR) July 9, 2020
The only people we should be listening to are teachers.https://t.co/IAy8q5bhUH
— .. (@matt_artifacts) July 10, 2020
The Trump administration is pushing to reopen schools this fall, even as COVID-19 cases spike around the U.S.
But so far, the administration hasn’t offered concrete proposals for how states might mitigate risk to students—nor committed to new federal aid.https://t.co/W21NcnReP8
— NPR (@NPR) July 7, 2020
Notice the one-sided nature of all these reports. The narrative from the media is clear: Reopening schools is bad, and thus children must remain at home in perpetuity until the coronavirus pandemic fully clears.
The media have also latched onto the theory that it’d be logistically impossible to reopen schools because schools cannot afford to implement the coronavirus safety measures mandated by the CDC.
“The federal relief package passed in March dedicated $13.5 billion to K-12 education — less than 1 percent of the total stimulus. But education groups estimate that schools will need many times that, and with many local and state budgets already depleted by the economic impact of the coronavirus, it is unclear where it will come from,” The New York Times eagerly reported Thursday.
However, Redfield had a response for this complaint as well.
“Redfield said on Thursday that none of the CDC’s guidance on school reopening is inherently too costly for schools to handle,” Reuters reported. “He said he does not want schools to go ‘overboard’ by failing to recognize that the virus is ‘relatively benign’ for young people.”
These are facts you’ll likely not hear from media figures like Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post, a woman who believes the president’s desire to see children return to school this fall proves that he “wants to kill your kids.”
now he wants to kill your kids https://t.co/6VvGsIQv4d
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) July 8, 2020
That being said, the CDC recognizes its place as an agency designed to provide guidance, not authoritarian decrees.
Thus, the reopening guidelines it’s provided schools are not designed to be a “one-size-fits-all criteria for opening and closing schools or changing the way school are run.”
“Decisions about how to open and run schools safely should be made based on local needs and conditions,” the guidelines reportedly read, as reported by the Associated Press.
Moreover, the CDC appreciates the notion of choice.
“They also include a checklist that encourages parents to carefully consider whether they should send their kids back to school in person or seek virtual instruction,” the AP reported.
“Many districts nationwide are offering parents a choice of either mode of instruction. New York City, among other school districts, has announced that students will only return part-time in the fall.”
Choice, however, is not something school reopening opponents favor. To be fair, neither does President Donald Trump, who’s been adamant that all schools must reopen.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 25, 2020
SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2020
Corrupt Joe Biden and the Democrats don’t want to open schools in the Fall for political reasons, not for health reasons! They think it will help them in November. Wrong, the people get it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2020
In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS. The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families. May cut off funding if not open!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 8, 2020
And so it’s two sides of the same coin, with some pushing against schools reopening, and the president pushing for schools reopening.
The CDC, meanwhile, appears to be seeking a balance by recommending that schools reopen but allowing each school to control its own fate.
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