Three doctors affiliated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention argued for the re-opening of schools around the United States in a new article published Jan. 26 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The doctors point out that “there has been little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission.” A new study, also published Jan. 26, which they cite in the article, found that in “schools in rural Wisconsin with high mask adherence (4876 students and 654 staff), COVID-19 incidence was lower in schools than in the community.”
Community policies to reduce #SARSCoV2 transmission (eg restricting indoor restaurant dining) & school policies to postpone higher-risk activities (eg, indoor sports practice or competition) can help ensure safe reopening and operation of schools @CDCgov https://t.co/a9k8QG0HAg
— JAMA (@JAMA_current) January 26, 2021
The issue of re-opening became intensely politicized during the Trump Administration, when then-President Donald Trump and other officials advocated for students to return to school. At the time, Trump was accused by United Teachers Los Angeles President Cecily Myart-Cruz of “put[ting] the lives of our members, our students, and our families at risk.” (RELATED: ‘OPEN THE SCHOOLS’: President Trump Calls For Defunding Schools That Remain Shuttered)
In the week since Joe Biden was sworn in as the nation’s 46th president, however, some public officials have changed their tune on re-openings. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who had previously said that she didn’t “put much weight into what President Trump says,” is threatening to dock the pay of teachers who will not return to work when Chicago Public Schools re-open on Feb. 1. Chicago teachers are currently planning an illegal strike.