President Joe Biden stated that all schools for children through 12th grade should “probably” be open by fall.
His statement, made in an interview on NBC’s ‘Today’ show on Friday, comes despite his acknowledgment that vaccines would likely not be given to young children by then – and after heightened criticism from Republicans for bullying him for parents at home school suffering. children aged.
“Based on science and the CDC, they should probably all be open,” Biden told the network.
“Based on science and the CDC, they should probably all be open,” President Joe Biden said Friday when asked about reopening schools.
He cited a growing body of scientific evidence that child-to-child transmission is low in school settings, as schools take steps to distance themselves, students wear masks, and other measures have been taken.
“There is no overwhelming evidence that there is much transmission among these people, young people,” Biden added. He spoke when contamination rates in the US finally took a downward trajectory amid increased vaccination coverage – but with many public schools still closed or in ‘hybrid’ models to tell students apart.
He responded to a question from NBC’s Craig Melvin, who asked, “Should all schools in the country be open this fall?”
Health officials have raised the possibility that emergency use consent could be available for children as young as 12 years old to take the Pfizer vaccine by spring, but experts are still studying doses and effects on younger children.
Senator Tim Scott (RS.C.) slapped Biden in schools in response to Biden’s speech to Congress
A student checks his temperature at a checkpoint at James Madison High School on March 22, 2021 in the Madison neighborhood of Brooklyn
In this October 20, 2020 file photo, students sit in a distant pattern from their classmates during the coronavirus outbreak in a kindergarten class at School 16, in Yonkers, NY
Natalya Murakhver, an Upper West Side mom in New York City, started a GoFundMe to raise money to hire a lawyer to sue New York City for reopening schools to teach in person 5 days a week .
Biden has faced push back from teacher unions at the reopening, but last month urged schools to reopen after the Centers for Disease Control released new guidelines for three-foot distance social distances – making it much easier to get more children into buildings.
Republican Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina hammered Biden on the school issue in his GOP response to Biden’s speech to Congress Wednesday.
‘I think it’s a shame that millions of children have lost a grade when they couldn’t afford to lose even one day. Keeping vulnerable children out of the classroom keeps adults out of their future. Our public schools should have reopened months ago. Other countries did. Private schools and religious schools, ”Scott said.
‘Science has shown for months that schools are safe. Too often, powerful adults put science aside, ”he added. He slammed Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion covid bill because he had “ no requirement to reopen schools immediately. ”
Some teachers resist returning to class despite being vaccinated amid new variants and health issues.
In his own speech, Biden called reopenings a sign of hope.
“Parents who see the smiles on the children’s faces, for those who can go back to school because the teachers and the school bus drivers and the cafeteria workers have been vaccinated. … It means everything. Those things mean everything, ”he said.
Biden last month urged schools and school districts to reopen quickly, as vaccines and new research came online.
“My message is: Help is here,” Biden said. ‘There is help for schools to purchase PPE, hire additional staff such as nurses, counselors, security staff, improve ventilation and sanitation facilities, prevent teacher layoffs and provide additional support to students’
‘There is help to help students make up for lost time and lost knowledge. Unless we act quickly, in the long run this pandemic could have a devastating impact on our children who have been through it, including their mental health, ”he said.
Biden set a goal of 100 days to open half of all schools to personal learning.
According to Burbio, which tracks reopenings, about two-thirds of students now attend public schools in person. But many schools that remain closed to personal learning are in hard-to-reach neighborhoods where teachers fear that students will be at a disadvantage.
American public schools are overseen by local school boards, but many turn to federal scientists and policymakers for advice.