Impeachment is on tap this morning on the Sunday shows, of course, but it’s the pandemic that’s front and center. The White House has its two top science bureaucrats lined up to cover all five programs, with Anthony Fauci doing the honors on “This Week” while CDC chief Rochelle Walensky handles “Meet the Press,” “Face the Nation,” “State of the Union,” and “Fox News Sunday.” Their task is to defend the feeble new guidance on reopening schools that was released a few days ago by Walensky’s agency, which turned out to be far less aggressive than many parents had wanted. In fact, the takeaway from it seemed to be that schools *shouldn’t* feel pressure to reopen soon:
“I want to be clear. With the release of this operational strategy, CDC is not mandating that schools reopen.” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on a conference call with reporters. “These recommendations simply provide schools a long-needed road map for how to do so safely under different levels of disease in the community.”…
All schools, the CDC says, can safely reopen for full in-person learning if they follow appropriate protocols and are located in communities that report fewer than 50 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days and have a positivity rate lower than 8%. It is possible for schools in communities with higher levels of spread to reopen for in-person learning on some days or with limited attendance and stricter infection prevention measures, the CDC said.
Walensky noted that more than 90% of the K-12 schools in the country are currently in areas of high transmission. In communities where there’s very low levels of spread, schools can even relax infection-prevention protocol like physical distancing, she added.
It’s not clear to me why teachers would be at greater risk inside a school building than outside of one in a community where the virus is spreading at high-ish rates, but the important thing for Team Joe is to do the unions’ bidding. Walensky and Fauci appear primed to give them scientific cover to do it this morning.
As for impeachment, various senators are scheduled but the most interesting is Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, a surprise vote to convict yesterday afternoon. He’ll chat with “This Week” about what emboldened him to cross Trump. The fact that he was just reelected and won’t face voters for another six years doubtless had a little something to do with it. The full line-up is at the AP.