Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield said Thursday that the health risks of keeping schools closed are greater than those of opening them, amid a push by President Trump to have students in classrooms this fall.
“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 told The Hill’s Steve Clemons.
The comments in favor of reopening schools from Redfield come as Trump presses for schools to reopen. On Wednesday, the president criticized the CDC in a tweet for “their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools,” raising fears about the politicization of the country’s leading public health agency.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has also called for students to return to classrooms, citing the educational and social harms to children of being away from school for a prolonged period of time.
Education groups like the American Association of School Administrators and the American Federation of Teachers say much more funding is needed to safely reopen schools, and that districts are already facing severe budget shortfalls due to the economic downturn sparked by the coronavirus.