CDC Director Accused Of Moving Goalposts On Reopening Schools When Pressed On Science

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Daily Advent

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky was criticized for moving coronavirus “goalposts” following a CNN interview regarding when schools would reopen.

“The Biden White House had done incredible damage to the credibility of the CDC,” Matt Whitlock, former senior adviser for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, tweeted Sunday morning. “They’ve put Dr. Walensky in the terrible position of having to mold the science to the teacher’s union’s political agenda and it’s all very awkward.”

Walensky joined CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday and was repeatedly asked about when schools would reopen.

“President Biden has promised to always follow the science. Can you put — can you point to any scientific reasons for students in the United States not to return to in-person classes tomorrow, as long as schools are taking the five steps that we referred to earlier: masking, cleansing, etc.? Why not open the schools right now?” Tapper asked her.

“As you noted, there’s 90% of communities with this high rate of transmission going on right now, and we really don’t want to bring community disease into the classroom. We also know that mask breaching is among the reasons that we have transmission within schools when it happens. So we really need to do the hard work to make sure that there’s universal masking, there is strict 6 feet of distancing between, that there’s cohorting or podding so that there’s restriction of disease if it were to be transmitted and all of the contact tracing and whatnot that needs to be done. All of that is really hard to put together,” Walensky responded.

Tapper continued pressing her, asking, “What’s the science?”

“Dr. Fauci, others have been saying for months that the schools should be open as long as there’s masking and cleansing and social distancing, everything that we talked about,” he said.

“So, there are numerous research studies that have demonstrated that with universal masking and 6 feet of distancing and, you know, dedensification of the classrooms that it’s possible to get schools back safely with all of that happening,” she responded.

Tapper said that he was “dispirited” by the interview because science has indicated schools can reopen.

“I have to say I feel a little dispirited after this conversation because I had high hopes that schools would be able to resume in-person learning because so many scientists and health officials, including you and Dr. Fauci and others, have been talking about the science supports opening the schools as much as possible,” Tapper said.

Critics slammed the interview, saying Walensky was unable to provide scientific data supporting that schools should not reopen and suggested teachers’ unions pushing back on reopening was behind the explanations.

Various teachers’ unions have pushed back on reopening classrooms for in-person learning, saying there is still great risk to teachers and spreading the virus.

“While L.A. educators want nothing more than to be back in classrooms, the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County is still too high,” the United Teachers Los Angeles said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Walensky said that “there is increasing data to suggest that schools can safely reopen and that that safe reopening does not suggest that teachers need to be vaccinated in order to reopen safely.”

However, the White House later walked back the comments, saying that Walensky “spoke to this in her personal capacity.”

“Obviously, she’s the head of the CDC, but we’re going to wait for the final guidance to come out so we can use that as a guide for schools around the country,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

Author : Emma Colton

Source : Washington Examiner : CDC director accused of ‘moving the goalposts’ on reopening schools when pressed on science behind not returning to in-person class