President Joe Biden’s nominee for deputy secretary of education said that children should not return to school in San Diego despite evidence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggesting that in-person learning is safe.
Cindy Marten, Superintendent of San Diego Unified School District and Biden’s education pick, said Tuesday that students would remain home from school and did not suggest any possible re-opening dates. (RELATED: Biden Releases New Coronavirus Strategy — Here Are All The Executive Orders He Will Sign Thursday To Achieve His Goals)
“Despite the progress that is being made and all of the best efforts of all of our employees, it’s important that we recognize that the virus continues to spread and it’s out of control in our communities,” she said according to The San-Diego Union Tribune. “The fact that we’re losing 4,000 of our fellow Americans to this disease every day is shocking and something we must all continue to attend to. This is not the time to let up on our efforts to defeat this deadly virus.”
CDC on reopening schools: Maintain distance, wear masks, and “local officials also must be willing to impose limits on other settings — like indoor dining, bars or poorly ventilated gyms — in order to keep infection rates low in the community at large.” https://t.co/9dAb9eAVml
— Emily Richmond (@EWAEmily) January 26, 2021
Marten refused to allow in-person learning despite growing evidence that it is safe for students to return to school.
Three CDC researchers found “little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission,” according to an article published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers cited a Mississippi study of coronavirus in children ages 0 – 18 which found that in-person school attendance was not associated with an increased risk of coronavirus infections. A North Carolina study found that when 90,000 students returned to school in person in the fall, there were no cases of student-to-staff transmission, and transmissions occurring in school were “very rare.”
Other studies from the CDC and the European CDC had similar results in schools where proper precautions were taken, the researchers noted.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected K-12 schools across the US,” they wrote. “Accumulating data now suggest a path forward to maintain or return primarily or fully to in-person instructional delivery.”
Marten’s position is contradictory to both the president and his chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, The Washington Free Beacon reported. Fauci has said that opening schools for in-person learning should be the “default position,” and Biden promised to have students back in schools within the first 100 days of his presidency.