As President Donald Trump insisted that schools across the United States reopened, even as new data showed a staggering increase in coronaviruses among children and teenagers, the head of the Control Center Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that it is not advisable to return students to classrooms. hurry.
“We will need to do it safely. We will need to do it properly. And we will have to do it based on special circumstances, the dynamics of the epidemic and in the world. areas where schools are starting to struggle with this reopening, “CDC director and virologist Robert Redfield told”; NBC Nightly News “host, Lester Holt.
Watch this interview tonight on “NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt” at 6:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. CT and on NBC News special series “Coronavirus and Classes” at 8pm ET / 7pm CT
Redfield added that in communities where the virus continues to spread at a high rate, school districts should not feel pressure from the CDC or the White House to welcome students back without action.
“We don’t want to put pressure on anyone,” he said. “Our guidance is there to help them start opening the door, as I said, safely and properly. The timing of that will have to be decided by school by school.”
Redfield’s remarks came after he warned Wednesday that this fall could be one of the worst in the United States from a public health perspective because of the return of the flu season. The severity of the coronavirus outbreak, he said, will depend on how Americans follow CDC guidelines on mask use, stay away from society and wash hands, and limit crowds.
Trump on Wednesday said he would provide 125 million reusable masks to school districts, while continuing to promote live classes after previously threatening to cut federal funding for those the district was not reopening.
He was criticized last week when he said in an interview that children should return to school because they are “almost immune” or “almost immune” to the disease. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children account for about 9.1% of COVID-19 cases nationwide, but they can still infect others and some children have also died from the disease.
Full coverage of coronavirus outbreaks
“We have to be open,” Trump said during his White House briefings. “We had to open schools and open businesses. And a lot of that was opened. But we can do better.”
Some states are still cautious about reopening.
California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, announced last month that all schools – both public and private – in counties on the list of increased coronavirus infections cannot continue. Live learning when school restarts, for some districts later this month and they will have to meet stringent criteria before reopening.
A group of parents have since sued Newsom and other officials, asking him to allow schools to open because their children are “suffering from being deprived of” direct education and some are being hurt. Harm by digital divide.
Newsom did not immediately respond to the lawsuit, but previously said that “students, staff, and parents all enjoy instruction in the classroom, but only if it can be safely done.”
During this crisis, more than 5.2 million people in the US were infected with the coronavirus, with 167,000 people dying from COVID-19, a disease caused by the virus. Worldwide, the number of cases has reached 20 million, with about a quarter of all deaths occurring in the US, NBC News data shows.
The White House on Wednesday issued general recommendations for school districts to follow when reopening and to protect “high-risk” teachers, such as “frequent hand washing”, to minimize have large group gatherings in the house and encourage the use of masks when society is not far away. Feasibility.
“We have to do this safely. We have to do this intelligently. We have to be flexible,” Redfield said. “But I think it’s important that our best interest in society is towards face-to-face, you know, learning safely and sensitively based on individual circumstances. community.”
Download the NBC News app for full details on coronavirus outbreaks
Parents should “trust the use of a flu vaccine” against an upcoming flu season that will be exacerbated by the highly contagious coronavirus, Redfield said.
“If we choose not to vaccinate, not to adopt these mitigation strategies, it could be a very difficult time,” he added.
However, Redfield remains hopeful that potential vaccines that have shown much promise in initial trials will be available in late fall or early winter.
Moderna Therapeutics, a biotechnology company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said last month that it had started the first phase 3 testing of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the United States. The company is teaming up with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health, to research vaccines.
“I would never say this again in April or May, but I am now cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine available before the first day of the year,” Redfield said. .