Four doctors whose COVID-19 research was cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the federal government is being too cautious on school reopenings.
The doctors claimed the CDC is misinterpreting the data on school reopenings and that keeping schools closed will continue to harm children. One study, led by Dr. Tracy Beth Høeg, found that the risk of COVID-19 transmission is low in school settings.
Can’t imagine a more pressing issue of the day as to get schools open full-time for children. This op-ed I wrote with the excellent @TracyBethHoeg and @doctortara stresses that the CDC misinterpreted their own MMWR-published study on WI schools in guidancehttps://t.co/ZQDOhVtAnm
— Monica Gandhi MD, MPH (@MonicaGandhi9) March 9, 2021
The CDC’s “guidance does not take into account the data we have regarding little disease transmission in schools,” the doctors wrote in a USA Today op-ed Tuesday. Rather, the guidance “is an example of fears influencing and resulting in misinterpretation of science and harmful policy.”
Høeg’s study, conducted in Wood County, Wisconsin, noted in a school district of 4,876 students and 654 staff, only seven students and zero staff contracted COVID-19, despite a community spread rate of 41.6%. The authors further noted more than 90% of elementary school students and more than 80% of middle and high school students sat less than six feet apart, even though CDC guidelines recommend students sit greater than six feet apart. (RELATED: CNN’s Brianna Keilar Blasts ‘Confusing’ Biden Policy On Reopening Schools)
“We are observing a significant psychological epidemic in children with depression and anxiety due to the isolation associated with school closure, with suicidal behaviors,” the doctors added, calling reopenings “a human rights issue.”
In the wake of widespread school closures, suicides have doubled in Clark County, Nevada, the nation’s fifth-largest school district. Other studies indicate that lockdowns contributed to increased anxiety, depression, and alcohol and drug abuse.