US CDC director pushes school reopening in ‘public health best interest’

Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield reiterated his stance that schools in the United States should reopen this fall in “public health best interest”.

Closing schools can result in “very significant public health consequences”, Redfield said at a House subcommittee hearing on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

“I think it’s important to realize that it’s in the public health best interest of K-through-12 students to get back in face-to-face learning,” Redfield said.

“It’s really important to realize it’s not public health versus the economy about school opening, it’s public health versus public health of the K-through-12 to get the schools open. We’ve got to do it safely and we have to be able to accommodate,” he added.

Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, echoed Redfield’s comments, saying that a “default position despite the fact that we have to have flexibility” would be to try “as best as we possibly can in the context of the safety of the children and the teachers” to reopen the schools.

The US COVID-19 cases reached 4.54 million with over 152,900 fatalities as of Friday afternoon, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.