What a difference a month makes! In mid-May, Dr. Anthony Fauci cast cold water on the idea of reopening schools in the fall, at least in terms of having a vaccine or effective therapy in place. While he didn’t rule out reopening without a vaccine, Fauci warned that it would require a lot of testing and mitigation in place before anyone could think about reopening schools.
Now it appears that Fauci has shifted to a stance of assuming the reopening of schools. In a conversation with CNN last night, Fauci still warned that reopening is contingent on having testing and mitigation in place, but that safety concerns on reopening might be “a bit of a reach”:
In a phone interview with CNN Wednesday, Fauci noted that children tend to have milder symptoms or even no symptoms when they are infected with Covid-19.
What’s not yet clear is whether children get infected as frequently as adults, and whether they often pass the infection on to others. Ultimately, he said, the decision to reopen schools needs to be predicated on the level of infection in each community. …
“When you talk about children going back to school and their safety, it really depends on the level of viral activity, and the particular area that you’re talking about. What happens all too often, understandably, but sometimes misleadingly, is that we talk about the country as a whole in a unidimensional way.”
Fauci seemed to think that keeping schools closed in general was not necessary.
“Children can get infected, so, yes, so you’ve got to be careful,” Fauci said. “You got to be careful for them and you got to be careful that they may not spread it. Now, to make an extrapolation that you shouldn’t open schools, I think is a bit of a reach.”