Redfield Says CDC Will Not Revise School Reopening Guidance Despite Push From Trump Admin

There are mixed views on whether people should be heading back to school in the fall, and how to safely do that, amid the coronavirus pandemic, and President Donald Trump’s administration is pushing for it.

After Trump pushed for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to revise its guidance on reopening schools, calling them “very tough” and “expensive,” the CDC said it would be issuing new guidelines, as IJR reported.

However, now, CDC Director Robert Redfield is making it clear that the CDC does not plan to revise their guidelines. But, there will be more information provided.

“Our guidelines are our guidelines, but we are going to provide additional reference documents to aid basically communities that are trying to open K-through-12s,” Redfield said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday.

He continued, “It’s not a revision of the guidelines. It’s just to provide additional information to help schools be able to use the guidance that we put forward.”

Asked which guidelines are “too tough” or “impractical,” Redfield responded by reiterating that the CDC guidelines are just that, “guidances, they’re not requirements.”

“It’s not a question of opening schools versus public health. My position is that the public health of the students of this nation is best served by getting these schools reopened,” Redfield added. “Reopen safely.”

Watch Redfield’s interview below:

As the White House expressed interest in the CDC issuing new guidelines, Redfield previously indicated this week, “It would be personally very disappointing to me, and I know my agency, if we saw that individuals were using these guidelines as a rationale for not reopening our schools.”

The CDC guidelines for reopening schools include dividing students into small groups, staggering schedules, and limiting sharing objects.

Trump said at a White House event on Tuesday, “We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools.”

On infections, the president said, “It’s time to be open, it’s time to stay open and we will put out the fires as they come.”

Trump received push back from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who said it is up to the states to decide when schools will reopen, not the federal government.

“It’s not up the president of the United States. There is something called the Constitution that guides government power and then there are a series of laws based on that Constitution and the president does not have the authority to open schools,” Cuomo said during Wednesday’s press briefing.