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CDC director says he’s comfortable sending grandkids back to school

CDC director Robert Redfield says he’s ‘absolutely’ comfortable with his grandchildren going back to school in the fall amid coronavirus pandemic

  • CDC director Robert Redfield says he’s comfortable with his eight school-aged grandchildren returning to classrooms in the fall 
  • He said he only had reservations about one of his grandsons returning to the classroom because he has cystic fibrosis
  • As COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise, districts are grappling with whether to bring students back and how to keep them and teachers safe
  • President Donald Trump has urged schools to bring children back to class in the fall and has threatened to cut off federal funding if they do not 

The Centers for Disease Control’s director Robert Redfield says he is ‘absolutely’ comfortable with his grandchildren returning to school when they reopen this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Redfield said he only had reservations about one of his grandsons returning to the classroom because he has cystic fibrosis. 

‘My other 10 grandchildren, eight of those are school-aged, 100 percent they can get back to school,’ Redfield told ABC’s Good Morning America on Wednesday. 

When asked if he was comfortable with them returning to school, Redfield said: ‘Absolutely’. 

‘The only one there might be some reservations with is my grandson with cystic fibrosis, depending on how he can be accommodated in the school that he’s in,’ he said. 

The Centers for Disease Control’s director Robert Redfield said on Wednesday he is ‘absolutely’ comfortable with his grandchildren returning to school when they reopen this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic

Redfield’s comments come as schools around the US face the same dilemma.

With the number of reported COVID-19 cases and deaths still rising, school districts are grappling with whether to bring students back to classrooms and how to keep pupils and teachers safe if they do. 

‘I think it’s really important to get our schools open. As I’ve said, it’s not public health vs opening the schools or the economy. It’s public health vs public health,’ Redfield said.  

‘I think there really are a number of negative public health consequences that have happened to our K through 12s by having these schools close. 

‘It’s so important now to work together with school districts to figure out how they can take our guidelines and operationalize them in a practical way – and to do it in a way that’s safe for those that are vulnerable, particularly the teachers and those children.

‘I do think it’s critical. One of the most important things is the role of face masks and social distancing in those classrooms.’ 

Pressure is mounting in many areas to reopen classrooms. 

President Donald Trump has urged schools to bring children back to class in the fall and has threatened to cut off federal funding if they do not. 

Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, science teachers Ann Darby and Rosa Herrera check-in students before a summer STEM camp at Wylie High School in Texas last week

Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, science teachers Ann Darby and Rosa Herrera check-in students before a summer STEM camp at Wylie High School in Texas last week

Students wear masks and face covering during a summer STEM camp at Wylie High School in Wylie, Texas last week

Students wear masks and face covering during a summer STEM camp at Wylie High School in Wylie, Texas last week

School principal Frank Loya Jr. sets up social distancing dividers for students in a classroom at St. Benedict School in Montebello near Los Angeles ahead of reopening

School principal Frank Loya Jr. sets up social distancing dividers for students in a classroom at St. Benedict School in Montebello near Los Angeles ahead of reopening

‘Young people have to go to school, and there’s problems when you don’t go to school, too,’ Trump told Fox News on Sunday. 

‘And there’s going to be a funding problem because we’re not going to fund when they don’t open their schools.’ 

He blamed Democrats for the push to keep some states and schools closed.

‘We got hit with the virus – shouldn’t have happened – and we had to close up. We saved millions of lives,’ Trump said. ‘Now we’ve opened it up, got to go back to school.’ 

The Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-largest public school system behind New York City, announced last week that all classes will be conducted virtually when they resume next month. 

In an interview with CBS Evening News, Trump slammed the district’s move as a ‘terrible decision’ and claimed that students and their parents were dying of trauma.  

‘Because children and parents are dying from that trauma, too. They’re dying because they can’t do what they’re doing. Mothers can’t go to work because all of a sudden they have to stay home and watch their child, and fathers,’ he said.

Trump added that schools being closed put a ‘tremendous strain’ on parents but also said the issue was a ‘balancing act’.



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