It’s not clear why, for the moment. All that’s clear is that the White House’s stated reasoning for the decision, “We need our doctors focused on the pandemic response,” is untrue. Someone in CDC management can spare a few hours to brief the nation on the crucially important question of whether it’s safe to reopen schools.
I think this much is clear too: Suspicion among the public that the CDC is being muzzled for political reasons will do the president more harm than anything Robert Redfield or one of his deputies is apt to say at the hearing. By some measures, Americans trust the CDC even more than they do Anthony Fauci. There’s no amount of incompetence by the agency that seems capable of shaking the public’s faith in it. And Trump has already announced his intentions to pressure the agency on its safety recommendations for schools in order to suit his “reopen everything ASAP” political agenda:
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!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 8, 2020