After pushback from the Biden White House, Centers for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky is reiterating that schools can safely reopen before teachers are vaccinated for Wuhan coronavirus.
"I want to be clear about what the science shows and what I believe and how we should prioritize. There is accumulating data that suggests that there is not a lot of transmission that is happening is schools when proper mitigation measures are taken. When there is masking, when there is distancing, de-densification of the classroom, ventilation, contract tracing, hand washing. All of those things, when they are done well, the data suggests, the science suggests, that there is not a lot of transmission happening in schools and in fact the case rates in schools are generally lower than they are in the population surrounding it," Walensky said during an interview with MSNBC Wednesday night.
At a press briefing Wednesday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki pushed back on Walensky, saying her guidance wasn't an "official" assessment from the CDC, siding with teachers unions refusing to return to work until teachers and students are vaccinated.
"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
The demand for student vaccination is especially excessive, given the vaccine hasn't been approved by the FDA for children under 14-years-old.