Tea Party Patriots Action Responds to Report Showing CDC Will Not Revise Guidelines for Reopening Schools
Tea Party Patriots Action Honorary Chairman Jenny Beth Martin – responding to news reports that CDC chief Robert Redfield said today that his organization will not revise its guidelines for reopening schools, despite Vice President Mike Pence’s announcement the previous day that the CDC would do precisely that – today issued the following statement:
“Schools need to reopen in the fall – and the CDC needs to revise its guidelines for that, because, contrary to what Dr. Redfield said, some school districts ARE hiding behind the CDC guidelines as an excuse not to reopen.
“On Tuesday afternoon, I was one of a small group of people who met with the President and Vice President, and the First and Second Lady, to discuss reopening the schools. President Trump and Vice President Pence made very clear their determination to push schools to reopen.
“Vice President Pence followed that up yesterday with a statement that the CDC will release updated guidelines for reopening schools.
“But this morning, appearing on a morning television show, Dr. Redfield denied the CDC would issue revised guidelines: ‘Our guidelines are our guidelines,’ he said, ‘but we are going to provide additional reference documents to aid basically communities in trying to open K-through-12s … It’s not a revision of the guidelines; it’s just to provide additional information to help schools be able to use the guidelines we put forward.’
“That’s not good enough. The current CDC guidelines are ridiculous. They appear to have been written by someone totally unfamiliar with children and their behavior. They are totally unworkable in the real world. They certainly are not written with the ‘goal of having students physically present in school,’ as the American Academy of Pediatrics has advised. And until they are significantly revised, administrators who do not want to reopen schools in the fall will use them as their excuse.
“Revising school opening guidelines is nothing new for the CDC. In 2009, in response to the H1N1 pandemic, the CDC initially recommended that if a school had a single case, it close for two weeks. Doctors across the country were aghast. Dr. D.A. Henderson, who had earned tremendous credibility for heading the WHO program that eliminated smallpox, strongly criticized the decision, and the CDC reversed itself.
“It’s past time for the CDC to acknowledge its error and revise its guidelines. Doing anything less at this point is tantamount to putting padlocks and chains on schools doors.”