Robert Redfield, Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has said that the agency was not planning to rewrite guidelines for reopening schools in the country.
In an interview with ABC News on Thursday, Redfield said that the CDC would issue “additional reference documents”, which are “not a revision of the guidelines, just to provide additional information to help the schools be able to use the guidance that we put forward”, reports Xinhua news agency.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump slammed the guidelines as “very tough” and “expensive”, and his administration has been pushing for the reopening of schools and universities in the fall.
“I disagree with @CDCgov on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools. While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them,” Trump said in a tweet.
Vice President Mike Pence said Trump did not want the guidelines to be “barriers” to reopening.
“We don’t want the guidance from CDC to be a reason schools don’t open,” he added.
The CDC guidelines include recommendations for social distancing in classrooms and wearing facial coverings.
“Clearly we see some individuals are concerned about the six-foot distancing. Others are concerned about face masks. Other individuals are concerned about rotating schedules,” Redfield said during Thursday’s interview.
“These decisions about schools are local decisions. We’re prepared to work with any school and school district to see how they can take these guidances, this portfolio of strategies and do it in a way they’re comfortable that they can reopen their schools.”
Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters later on Wednesday that it was “on the same page with Redfield”.
She also noted that the CDC said many of its own school reopening guidelines are impossible to meet, pointing out that the guidelines say “not feasible” 18 times and “not possible” nine times.