A handful of Senate Republicans sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Wednesday demanding more information about the newly-announced school reopening guidelines, as reported by the Daily Caller.
The letter, signed by five Senate Republicans including Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.,) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.), is addressed to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, as well as Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra. The letter asks both officials to provide explanations for why the CDC has ultimately decided to reopen all American schools by June 2nd.
In the letter, the senators point to recently-unearthed emails, first uncovered by Americans for Public Trust, which reveal that the CDC communicated directly with the nation’s top teachers’ unions, including the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA), to discuss drafting the reopening guidelines.
The public health community has long since concluded that the perils of prolonged school closures are far greater than the risks posed by COVID-19 to students and teachers. This fact has not been lost on parents, who are growing increasingly impatient with teachers who won’t return to the classroom. This frustration will increase exponentially now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new guidance on how schools can and should safely reopen: “It is critical for schools to open as safely and as soon as possible, and remain open, to achieve the benefits of in-person learning and key support services.”
The Ohio Department of Health last month mandated the use of facial coverings by K-12 students. The mandate came with several exceptions, including for those who were unable to wear masks due to health issues and religious exemptions.
Governor Mike DeWine announced all sports will be allowed this fall, as long as teams meet guidelines laid out by Ohio High School Athletic Association and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).
The governor said in a press conference Tuesday that his office would release the specific health guidelines soon. Guidelines will include social distancing restrictions, limiting the number of spectators allowed in stadiums, and having health inspectors enforce the rules.