Centers for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky said during a Wuhan coronavirus task force meeting Wednesday morning that "vaccination of teachers is not a pre-requisite for safe reopening of schools." Her statement backs up a number of CDC studies showing the spread of the disease is nearly non-existent in schools and more prevalent among communities.
???? Biden's own CDC Director just said "vaccination of teachers is not a prerequisite for safe reopening of schools."— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 3, 2021
That's it. Open schools now. pic.twitter.com/jWHZ0OQ8EY
The statement comes as teachers unions across the country refuse to return to the classroom before they are vaccinated. Some unions, like in Fairfax County Virginia, demanded to jump the vaccination line, were approved and are now demanding students must also be vaccinated before they return to work.
During a briefing at the White House Wednesday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki - who speaks on behalf of President Joe Biden - took the side of the unions and pushed back on Director Walensky's comments by saying it "wasn't official guidance."
"They have not released their official guidance yet from the CDC on the vaccination of teachers and what would be needed to ensure the safe reopening of schools, and so we'd certainly defer to that, which we'd hope to see soon," Psaki said.
.@PressSec is asked about the CDC Director saying that teachers being vaccinated is not a pre-requisite for safely opening schools:— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 3, 2021
"They have not released their official guidance yet... on what would be needed to ensure the safe re-opening of schools." pic.twitter.com/bl2HhzaEPh
In the meantime, parents and children across the country continue to suffer.
A new internal analysis from Fairfax County Schools found an alarming increase in the number of students left behind by the switch to online learning.
The percentage of middle and high school students getting F grades in two or more classes has jumped a stunning 83%, according to the "Study of Teaching and Learning During the COVID 19 Pandemic."
Students with disabilities are struggling even more. They've seen a 111% increase in children getting two or more F grades.
Middle school students seem to be having more trouble with distance learning than high school students. The report found a 300 percent increase in middle schoolers getting two or more Fs, from a total of 2% of students in the first quarter of last year, to 8% of them in the first quarter of this year.